“I want to say to 2020: Thank you for the honor and attention. I will continue to pass-on the thoughts that I learnt from training martial arts and let my work in the MMA influence and change different people's lives,” said Zhang Weili, the first-ever Chinese UFC champion on "Open Language Talk·Voice 2020" stage.
On November 26, Zhang was invited to gave her first English speech and shared her unforgettable experience of retaining her UFC strawweight world title in Las Vegas at the beginning of 2020 with nearly 10 million online viewers. In the octagonal cage, Zhang Weili showed her serious about changing the culture of her sport with a heartfelt message triggered by some unseemly pre-fight insults about the coronavirus from the challenger.
“Until I won the game, I finally got to speak my innermost feelings: the COVID-19 isn’t just a matter for China, but for all mankind. We have to confront the pandemic together.” Zhang has won the respect of her opponents with her strength, and also let the world see the power of Chinese women.
Zhang Weili In the speech, Zhang Weili also introduced her story before retaining the championship. She and her team experienced many changes before arriving in Las Vegas: lack of sleep, seeing insulting posters and extremely unfriendly public opinions. However, Zhang knows that she must bear the prejudice and "punch" to attack. “According to my experience, you will get along better with the world if you gain others’ understanding with your own actions."
Zhang Weili also inspired young women in her speech with refuting people's prejudice against female players. "The gender stereotype has been a serious issue. Boys can sell lipstick and Zhang Weili can box and wrestle. These are perfectly normal jobs." Zhang hopes she can encourage more young women to be strong, and to follow their dreams. In order to communicate better with foreign players and fans, and to let the world know more about her and her motherland, Zhang Weili is working hard to learn English. This fluent speech is also the result of her study.
Besides Zhang Weili, this event also invited celebrities such as Yang Tiantian, Xu Junhao, Feng Shu, Jiang Wenqiang and Dolkerlhamo. By sharing their unforgettable stories in 2020, 6 speakers also took the audience back to the major events of 2020. Hosting by Open Language, a well known online English learning APP in China, "Open Language Talk" has been successfully held for three times. Open Language team said that they hope to provide a stage for everyone to speak English with confidence. Encouraged by Zhang Weili and other speakers, more students will actively express their views to the world.