An eight-year-old speed skater in China has warmed the hearts of millions of her compatriots after she stumbled at the start of a race but managed to recover and reel in her rivals one by one to emerge the winner. Ma Zihui was taking part in a youth race in Beijing at an ice hockey club. Beijing hosts the Winter Olympics in 2022, and after her performance went viral, Ma said she wanted to continue skating and one day become an Olympic champion. Ma was competing in a race for the youngest age group of a training squad comprising around 50 children from eight to 14 years old. She was taking part in the first leg of the 500m short-track speed skating quarter-finals. Almost immediately after the start, Ma took a tumble. Undeterred, she got right back up and showed excellent technique to catch up with her rivals and eventually win the race. Never give up till the last second: 8-year-old short track speed skating player Ma Zihui slipped at the starting line but endeavored to catch up and finally got the first prize at a youth competition in Beijing. pic.twitter.com/Er1a03vvJ9 — People's Daily, China (@PDChina) December 22, 2020 Ma was quoted as saying she was tired before the race but was determined to win. “When I’m tired, I can grit my teeth and stick to it. This is the path I chose. As long as it is something I like, I have to stick to it,” Ma was reported to have said. A video of her race had more than 5 million views online, according to media reports. Her mother, Kong Lulu – who the previous night carried an exhausted Ma home after training finished at 11pm – asked her daughter before the race if she was able to perform. “She felt normal at the time. I asked her if you were afraid if she fell. She said that she was not afraid, just catch up with them,” she was quoted as saying. Like the other kids, Ma, who started as a roller skater and switched to the ice in 2019, attends school in the morning before heading off to training.