Coach “Jenny” Lang Ping the Iron Hammer

“Jenny” Lang Ping of China is one of the most famous and respected individuals in the history of volleyball. Known as the “Iron Hammer,” she was a member of the Chinese women’s national team that won an Olympic gold medal over the United States at the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles, a World Championship crown in 1982 and World Cup titles in 1981 and 1985. Revered by Chinese fans, Lang Ping has been honored with her own postage stamp, had her wedding broadcast on Chinese national television and has stadiums named after her in China.

In 1995, Lang Ping became the head coach of the Chinese national team and eventually guided the squad to the silver medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. After leaving China’s national team program in 1999, Lang Ping was head coach for a number of championship teams in the Italian League including the Pieralisi Volleyball Club (Club Jesi). Lang Ping took over her current position from former Team USA coach Toshi Yoshida, who resigned late in 2004 to accept a professorship position at Biwako Seikei Sport College in Japan. She has been the head coach of the USA Women’s National Team for the past four years. Currently, she is guiding the team through the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Lang Ping was inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame as a player on Oct. 18, 2002. She was also selected by the United States Olympic Committee as torchbearer on the Olympic Torch Relay’s only North American stop in San Francisco. She ran a leg of the relay on April 9 in San Francisco.

Learn more about Asian Americans at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

“Jenny” Lang Ping the Iron Hammer in action

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