Wu’s life seems to reinforce all our worst stereotypes about the Chinese Olympic program. Now 26, Wu began attending daily diving camp at six years old. At 16, she left home to live in a government-sponsored training facility, where she rarely saw her family, didn’t attend school—didn’t do anything but dive, all day, over and over again for this last decade.

Her parents only kept up with her life by following her Weibo account, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter. Said her father,

“We’ve known for years that our daughter doesn’t belong to us any more.”