She apologized for verbally abusing an Olympic judge, but questions over the conduct of China's 'Iron Lady' of diving remain
Updated 3:45 AM ET, Thu May 12, 2022
(CNN)For Lisa Wright, an elite-level diving judge from New Zealand, it was supposed to be the highlight of her career -- the chance to adjudicate at the sport's premier event at the Olympics.
But the scenes that unfolded after the men's 10-meter platform final in Tokyo last year "darkened" her Olympic experience for some time, Wright says.
They also led to an official complaint being lodged by Diving New Zealand and Wright against Zhou Jihong -- a vice-president of water sports governing body FINA and one of the most influential figures in diving -- on the grounds of harassment and abuse.
That was after Zhou, who has been dubbed the "Iron Lady" of Chinese diving, allegedly launched a verbal tirade at Wright at the 10m platform event's conclusion for underscoring Chinese divers.
"She was on poolside screaming at me and yelling at me -- it was definitely one of the most humiliating experiences of my life," Wright tells CNN Sport.
Zhou was later ordered by a FINA Ethics Panel to write a letter of apology to Wright.
However, some members of the diving community view Zhou's actions at the Olympics as a flashpoint amid a wider pattern of conduct they believe is harmful to the sport.
One of those who holds that belief is New Zealander Simon Latimer, a former diver and judge and now a member of FINA's Diving Technical Committee (TDC).