The wife of renowned Chinese director Zhang Yimou said Monday that leading the Winter Olympics opening and closing ceremonies had piled pressure on him and hurt his health, in comments that have divided the Chinese internet. Zhang, 71, also masterminded the spectacular opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics and is behind classic Chinese films such as Red Sorghum and martial-arts epic House of Flying Daggers . His wife, Chen Ting, said this week that she did not support him reprising his role for the Winter Games, saying the process damaged his health and put pressure on their family. “The pressure and hardships in 2008 were unprecedented... He even joked that if he messed it up, the whole family should flee death together,” she wrote in a post on Weibo. “This time I said, have you forgotten? Do you want to go through it again? He didn’t answer.” The topic was trending online and a hashtag about her post had been viewed 170 million times. Chen added that, in the months leading up to the Winter Olympics opening ceremony, Zhang could only speak with the help of medication and ran a high fever. “I know he will not stop here, but silently hope that our children’s father can be with us in good health for a long time,” she said. Winter Olympics opening ceremony – as it happened Her post drew mixed responses, with many users saying they empathised with her feelings but others criticising her for posting them publicly. “Posting this article probably gave director Zhang even more headaches and insomnia,” one user wrote. “I understand your feelings, but I really don’t understand your remarks... it’s not compulsory labour and you can get both fame and fortune,” wrote another. Zhang promised an innovative opening ceremony this year, although the pandemic and freezing weather limited its scale to about 3,000 performers -- compared with 15,000 in 2008. The closing ceremony takes place on Sunday.