Xu Lijia became an overnight sensation in China after winning gold at London 2012 in the laser sailing class.
Her success is all the more impressive given that she only has 50% of her hearing and can barely see out of her left eye.
It is one of a number of adversities she has had to overcome en route to becoming an Olympic champion, including having a tumor removed from her knee in her teenage years.
Introduced to the sport at school in Shanghai, she had to ask, "What is sailing?"
Now studying for a management degree in the UK, Lily, as she prefers to be called, kisses her boat in celebration at London 2012.
It led to her carrying the Chinese flag at the Games' closing ceremony, but she is embarrassed that, to date, she has only really sailed dinghies.
In her previous Olympic foray in Beijing, she won a bronze medal in 2008.
Xu is not seeking selection for Rio 2016, and has her sights set on other sailing ambitions when her university degree is finished.
She recently took time out from her studies to act as an umpire at the Extreme Sailing Series round in Cardiff.
Xu also joined the all-female crew Team SCA during the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race.
But her time on board was merely for a brief insight as she was forced to jump ship as SCA set sail in the race.