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一名運動員的下半場|對話奧運選手黃懷萱 In the Second Half: Olympic Athlete Annie Huang

17歲那一年,她代表中華台北參加2016年里約奧運女子跆拳道的49公斤級比賽。22歲那一年,於2020東京奧運台灣區複選賽落敗的她,那一句「我們都別在最好的年紀,辜負了自己。」人生突然急轉彎,她選擇結婚生子,從此走上了不一樣的人生之旅。

TRANSLATION | Eugenia Yang

In the age of seventeen, Annie Huang attended the women’s 49 kg competition at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. Unfortunately, five years later, she lost her qualification when competing for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. “Never disappoint ourselves at the golden age.” With her life taking a full 180, Annie decided to start her own family and embark on a completely different life journey.

一念之間

愛情長跑三年的黃懷萱,在2020年東京奧運台灣區複賽落敗後,無預警於去年五月份在社群上發布婚訊,對象是身為跆拳道的學長姜為傑,「我們是遠距離,不是一趟高鐵抵達的距,是一趟飛機兩座城市的距離,雖然他總是仗著自己比我大七歲跟我講大道理,但還是要感謝他於我迷茫時刻拉了我一把,最後我想說的是:我們結婚了。」俐落地發了一張婚戒照與身分證配偶欄上多了一個姓名,快速果斷的行事節奏,就如同她個性一樣,宣示著人生階段又完成一哩路。或許多數運動員卸下選手的身份,總會朝著教練職涯方向進行規劃,本就把這場比賽(2020東京奧運)當作賽場上最後一場戰役的她,「做我自己喜歡的事情」,不斷嘗試、超越自我是黃懷萱身上的關鍵詞。婚後,目前就讀輔仁大學體育系研究所二年級的她,因為學校教練希望她能在代表學校參加大專盃,她索性把打跆拳道當作生活日常的運動、開心打比賽。卸下當選手身份的壓力,很單純地再穿上道服打比賽,內心感受似乎無法用言語表述,她透露目前短期規劃就是趕緊把研究所畢業,陪兒子(小霸丸)一起長大。

黃懷萱與老公姜為傑拍攝婚紗照。
Annie Huang and her husband, Wei-Jie Jiang, doing their wedding photoshoot.

婚姻相守

在桃李年華的青春步入婚姻,談及關於婚姻相處哲學,她笑著透露:「沒有特別之處,結婚一年多,雙方都還在學習磨合中,畢竟當情人跟結婚是完全不一樣的事情。」因為疫情的緣故,專訪採取線上模式進行,雖然無法直觀感知著她當下的情緒,然而閉上雙眼想像那個畫面幾乎能看到黃懷萱眼神流動著光,幸福著笑著訴說的狀態,「現在有一個自己的家,但最重要的事兩個人相處起來一定要有默契,懂得彼此、在乎彼此、體貼彼此。」或許每一個生命歷程都有其軌道,對於黃懷萱來說,結婚才是另一個人生旅途的啟程,所有事情重新歸零與學習探索,其實家人曾經問過他,結婚兩個人真的準備好了嗎,在黃懷萱心中這個答案是肯定的,「因為在一起的時候我們就很熟悉彼此的家人了。」如今老公之於她而言,雖然時常打鬧很煩人,但講起心中的甜,他是一個不可或缺的存在。

與剛生出的兒子小霸丸拍攝全家福。
Annie, Wei-Jie and their son doing their family portrait.

從心出發

或許在黃懷萱字典中,沒有「後悔」這個詞彙,對她來說每一件事情要去嘗試,才知道自己喜不喜歡,人生每一個經歷必然有它存在的意義。回首這一年疫情籠罩之下,講起關於理想生活的狀態,她坦承對於現在的生活還不算很滿意,人生漫漫還有許多事等著她去實踐,「現在想專注於研究所的學業,畢業後我想去學烘培,可以的話開一間屬於自己的工作室,陪陪老公和小孩,這大概是最幸福的事了。」對望30歲的自己,流露著真心的純粹,她悄悄說一聲,即使面向未知,依然要對自己說聲加油,這聲加油不僅僅是為了自己,還有愛人與小孩。

In a Split Second
After losing her spot to compete in the 2020 Summer Olympics, Annie announced with no warning on her social media last year that she was getting married with Wei-Jie Jiang, who’s also a Taekwondo athlete. “We have been in a long distance relationship. A distance that doesn’t mean a THSR trip, but a flight between two cities. Although he always uses our seven year age gap against me, I’m still very thankful that he guided the way for me when I was lost. Lastly, I just want to say: we’re married,” she wrote on her social media, along with a picture of the wedding rings and updated identification. This efficient decision is just like Annie’s personality, a declaration of completing another stage in life.

Perhaps it is true that after retiring, most athletes go from players to becoming coaches in their career. Having treated the 2020 Summer Olympics as her last “fight,” Annie continues to keep trying in order to become her better self. “I want to keep doing what I like to do.” After getting married, she is now a graduate student at Fu Jen Catholic University studying physical education. Since the university coach had wanted her to represent her school to participate in the Chinese Taipei University Sports competition, she decided to treat Taekwondo as a daily exercise and attend the games with a happy heart. After relieving the pressure of being an Olympic athlete, Annie simply wishes to put on her dobok and enjoy the game. Going through an emotional transformation that is hard to describe with words, she said her short term goal at the moment is to graduate from Fu Jen and accompany her son as he slowly grows up.

About Marriage
Stepping into marriage in her mid-twenties, Annie believes there are no special philosophies or guidelines when it comes to marriage. “We’ve been married for over a year now and we are both still learning. After all, dating and being married are two completely different matters.” Due to the pandemic, our interview was conducted online. Although I wasn’t able to directly feel her emotions, it wasn’t hard to imagine the way Annie’s eyes sparkled with happiness as she shared with me all the delightful moments. “Now that we have our own home, it is important that we understand each other fully and that we are able to connect and care for one another as well.” Some may believe that each living being has his or her own path to follow, but to Annie, marriage is the beginning of a brand new life journey as everything starts from the basics again. It is true that her family expressed their doubts about whether or not they were ready to take the next step. However, in Annie’s heart she knew it was the right choice. “We saw each other as family even before we got married.” Now, even though her husband occasionally annoys her with his jokes and fooling around, it is undeniable that he has become an irreplaceable part of her life.

Starting from the Heart
In Annie’s life, there are no regrets. For her, she has to try everything before she knows whether she likes it or not because every experience in life must have its meaning. Reflecting on this past year, she admits that she is not entirely satisfied with her current lifestyle. There is still so much more waiting for her to explore. “For now, I just want to focus on graduate school. After that, I want to learn baking and maybe even open up my own studio. At the same time, I’ll get to spend time with my husband and kid, that’s all I ask for.” As if in conversation with her thirty-year-old self, Annie manifests this heartfelt purity. Even as we face the fearful unknown, we still need to gather our strength to power through and continue the journey for ourselves, our loved ones and our kids.

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