Badminton beauty Gronya Somerville's famous Chinese heritage
Gronya Somerville, an 18-year-old representing Australia at the 2013 Sudirman Cup world mixed team badminton championship, is turning heads with both her beauty and her famous ancestry. Somerville is the great granddaughter of Kang Youwei 康有为 (†), a renowned Chinese scholar, calligrapher and political reformer who rose to prominence during the late Qing Dynasty with an ambitious but ill-fated attempt to turn China into a constitutional monarchy at the turn of the 20th century.
Born in Melbourne in 1995, Somerville first captured the attention of the badminton world when she represented Australia at last year's Uber Cup in Wuhan, the capital of central China's Hubei province, drawing extensive coverage from local media. She is currently ranked No. 82 in the Badminton World Federation Junior Rankings for women's doubles and No. 233 for mixed doubles, and No. 104 in women's doubles and No. 200 in mixed doubles in the overall BWF rankings.
Somerville's father, Kang's grandson, moved from southern China's Guangdong province to Australia at the age of six. Though her father passed away when she was still young, Somerville's mother made sure she embraced her Chinese heritage and sent her to a Chinese school for a number of years to learn the language. She has an older brother and sister and her idol is reportedly Chinese badminton superstar Lin Dan.
Though Somerville plans to attend university to study either sports science or biology, she says her goal is to represent Australia at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Somerville is also reportedly interested in branching out into the Asian entertainment industry. In November 2011, she struck a deal to become the global spokesperson for the Dream of the Red Chamber character contest, a unisex beauty contest for people who think they would make a good character in the classic Chinese romance novel. [WantChinaTimes]
(†)Kang Youwei 康有为 (1858-1927) was a Confucian intellectual, educator and would-be reformer, main leader of the failed reform movement of 1898.
Gronya Somerville poses as the global spokesperson of the Dream of the Red Chamber character contest (Photo/hongloumengshijie.com)
Her famous ancestry first caught my attention when it's reported in the Chinese sports media. Indeed she is such a beauty, wonder if her badminton can match her looks one day, her expressed ambitions aside.
waooooo she is Gorgeous and adorable, if she play in XD i think even duo ZZ, Xu/Ma, Owi/Liliyana or Joachim/Christina they can beat because her beauty will make the male opponents bow down and wont dare to smash her