26-year-old Vancouver-born Kimberly Newell, a goalie for China’s Olympic women’s ice hockey team, is not allowed to speak English to the press at the Olympics. This was revealed in a press conference earlier this week.
Known as Jiaying Zhou while playing for Team China, she answered questions in Mandarin until asked what her goals were for the competition by a reporter, and if she could respond to any questions in English.
“She’s not allowed to speak English,” an interpreter quickly interjected. The incident happened after China’s 2-1 shootout win against Japan on Sunday. “I’ll try to translate for her.” This occured despite the fact Newell is fluent in English.
The Daily Hive notes that Newell/Zhou "began playing hockey in Vancouver at five years old and played for the Burnaby Winter Club before attending Princeton University, lists English, Mandarin Chinese, and French as languages spoken on her Olympic bio."
Newell, who was named to the ECAC All-Academic Team four times (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016) and graduated with a degree in economics and finance, was a gold medalist with Canada at the 2013 Under-18 World Championship, too. She has spent the past three seasons playing for KRS Vanke Rays in Russia in Shenzhen. China’s women’s ice hockey team did not qualify for quarterfinal action at the Olympics after finishing ninth in the round-robin," the Daily Hive notes.