Liu Xiaotong

An Olympic champion with China at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, 31-year-old Liu Xiaotong has announced her retirement.

“I have been planning this for a while,” she said. “From 2013 to now with the national team, I defended all my coaches and teammates, during the different ups and downs. I faced a lot of difficulties, so thanks for everyone’s support over these years to allow me to gracefully represent the team."

“A lot of people have helped me – I can’t thank them one by one – but I want to give thanks especially to my family members. I wouldn’t be where I am today without their love and support.”

Besides winning Olympic gold, the outside hitter also claimed back-to-back titles at the FIVB Volleyball Women's World Cups in 2015 and 2019. She will now join Beijing Baic Motor's team of coaches after playing a key role for the club as a player in recent years.