Ara is a Journalism graduate from California State University Northridge who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.
Who is Xue Chen?
There are some really beautiful athletes in this world and China’s Xue Chen is one of them. This beach volleyball beauty stands at six feet and three inches tall. This makes her probably the tallest beach volleyball player in the world. Along with Japan’s Miwa Asao, Chen is probably the most beautiful beach volleyball athlete. Chen entered the world on February 18, 1989.
Xue Chen is a major part of China's national volleyball team
Xue Chen is also known for winning the award for beach volleyball's top rookie of the year
A native of Fuzhou, China, Chen began her volleyball career in 2000 at the Fu Zhou Sports Training School. Two years later in 2002, Chen also attended the Athletic Sports College of Fu Zhou. 2002 was also the year that Chen became part of the Chinese National Team. She made her World Tour Debut in 2005. She began the year 2006 with partner Zhang Xi. The International Beach Volleyball Federation bestowed a huge honor upon Chen. Chen was named beach volleyball’s top rookie in 2006. If the three major professional sports (baseball, basketball and ice hockey) have the Rookie of the Year award, then beach volleyball should have one too. She has finished in first place a total of 17 times. Her career earnings to date are a number so huge that it would stagger the imagination. Chen is actually one of the top beach volleyball athletes in terms of earnings, having brought in over $812,000!
A look at the career of Xue Chen and her successes
Originally playing basketball as a child, Chen switched to indoor volleyball at the age of 10 until she was 13 years old. She then chose to concentrate on beach volleyball. Chen became the youngest player ever to win a major volleyball tournament. This happened in 2006 when she won the Shanghai China Jinshan Open on May 28th of that year. Chen was only 17 years of age at the time.
Her success did not stop there. With Zhang Xi, she won a gold medal at the 2006 Asian Games during the team competition. Two years later at the 2008 Summer Olympics, Xue Chen and Zhang Xi also won a bronze medal.
In 2010, this pair of volleyball players won the Grand Slam in Moscow, Russia for a second time. They also won an improbable gold medal during the FIVB World Tour Women’s final in Aland, Finland. This was an extraordinary win for Chen and Xi because it snapped the winning streak of the Brazilian pair of Franca and Silva in August 2010. I included only their surnames to make this article more readable.
Xue Chen also won a gold medal during the 2009 and 2010 Asian Beach Volleyball Championships with Xi in Hainan, China. The pair would also go on to win gold medals at the Sanya Open, the 2010 Asian Games, and the Asian Beach Games. Chen is currently ranked 4th with partner Zhang Xi on the FIVB World Beach Volleyball rankings. The pair made an excellent finish to the 2010 season by ending up ranked 1st in the FIVB World Rankings. In the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Xue Chen finished in 4th place overall with Xi Zhang. Another big success for Chen came at the Phuket open in Thailand in November 2013. Her partner at this time was Xinyi Xia. This pair won the gold medal convincingly against the United States and it only took them 36 minutes to do so. Xinyi Xia was only 16 years old!
A Few More Photos of Xue Chen
Other interesting things about Xue Chen
Chen has also talked about the immense pleasure that she gets from playing in front of her home fans in Fu Zhou during the Fu Zhou Open. 2015 marked the third year that this event was being held there. Chen spends her time training in Hainan. She has also spent time training in California under the supervision and coaching of Dane Selznick.
Xue Chen talks about playing in front of her home fans
Xue Chen Takes a Bit of a Break from Volleyball
Chen now 30 has been taking a bit of a break from the sport that she loves to play. The website Beach Major Series was able to reach out to her and they got the answer as to where she has been. Chen revealed that she had surgery on her right shoulder back in June 2015 and in her haste to return to qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio has never been at full strength after that. She was in the process of getting a degree in Sports Training from Nanjing University and was planning on finishing her classes in the summer of 2018. Chen did not qualify for the 2016 Summer Games so she says that qualifying for the 2020 Summer Olympics is her goal. As to who her partner will be, she said that when she returns to full action, she will talk to her coaches to figure out who her partner will be.
© 2016 Ara Vahanian