Mo Huilan (CHN)

Photo courtesy of Beth Squires

1993 Cottbus International: 6th AA
1994 Asian Games: 1st T, 3rd AA, 1st V, 1st UB, 1st BB, 1st FX
1994 World Championships: 7th AA, 7th FX
1994 World Team Championships: 4th T
1995 China Cup: 1st AA
1995 Chunichi Cup: 3rd AA, 3rd V, 1st UB, 8th BB, 7th FX
1995 World Championships: 2nd T, 6th AA, 4th V, 2nd UB, 1st BB, 4th FX
1996 Chinese Nationals: 1st AA
1996 Olympic Games: 4th T, 5th AA, 2nd V, 6th FX
1997 East Asian Games: 1st AA
1997 BLR-CHN-SUI Tri Meet: 1st T, 3rd AA
1997 Thailand Gymnastics Open: 1st AA, 2nd UB, 2nd BB
1997 World Gymnastics in Bangkok: 1st AA (tie)
1997 World Championships: 3rd T
1997 Trophee Massilia: 5th T, 2nd UB, 5th BB, 8th FX
1997 Chinese Nationals: 8th AA

Results courtesy of Gymn Forum and television broadcasts

Mo Huilan and her fraternal twin sister, Mo Huifang, were born in Guilin, Guanxi province of China on July 19, 1979. Both girls began gymnastics in 1985, and were chosen to attend a camp in Beijing in 1990 to determine their future in the sport. Her sister, Mo Huifang was chosen, and Mo Huilan was not. Determined to stay in the sport she loved, Mo Huilan talked her coach into giving her a second chance. As a result, she began to work with great diligence to excel in the sport.

By 1994, her hard work had paid off when she won 5 out of 6 gold medals at the Asian Games. She finished 3rd in the AA due to a fall on the balance beam. At this point, Mo Huilan became a major international gymnastics force with strong performances at the 1994 and 1995 World Championships. Entering into the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, Mo Huilan was one of the favorites. Unfortunately, Huilan was not able to put it all together for this competition, and came away with only one medal, a silver on vault. The Chinese team finished a suprising fourth.

After the 1996 Olympics, Mo Huilan continued in the sport through the 1997 season. While her season was peaked with some big wins such as a defeat over Gina Gogean in one competition, her 1997 year also was plagued with some disappointments. She did not qualify for the AA at the 1997 World Championships as she was the 4th place finisher for the Chinese after the prelims, and she finished a disappointing 8th in the Chinese Nationals.

At the age of 18, Mo Huilan began to feel pressure from the younger and smaller Chinese gymnasts. Once known as Mighty Mo, Mighty Mouse and Lan Lan by her fans and friends, Mo Huilan began to comment that she could not train as much for fear of getting injured as she got older and heavier. She left the competitive aspect of gymnastics, enrolling at the University of Ren Min - "Ren Min" means people, so People University. In an interview in 2005, Mo reflected contently on her career, "I have no regrets.  I contributed my part to bring glory to my country and had my shinning moments." 

At university, Mo Huilan majored in journalism, with the aim of becoming a sports journalist. She has enjoyed success in the role, working as an intern for a Beijing newspaper (where she wrote an article about Sang Lan's return to China) and reporting from the 1999 World Championships in Tianjin, China (where, according to Gym Stars, Octavian Belu was quite excited when he recognized her as the reporter asking him questions). 

During university, Mo Huilan picked up a modeling contract for the Li Ning Sports company. Other former gymnasts turned models include Liu Xuan and Li Xiao Peng. Gymnasts are famous sports figures in China!

Mo Huilan has also tried her hand at TV. She played Sang Lan in a 20-chapter (!) TV series. The producers originally hoped that Sang Lan would play herself, but she is sensitive to the cold and the acting position requires her to be outdoors in the winters. In lieu of herself, Sang Lan personally recommended Mo Huilan. 

Later Mo Huilan starred in "The Mo Huilan Show." In this show, she traveled around China visiting aspiring and famous sports figures. Now she hosts "China: Road to the Olympics," highlighting China's progress in various sports. At one point Mo Huilan applied for a Visa to come study and coach in Canada, but plans fell through.

Mo Huilan has a steady boyfriend. He works in IT, and when they met was not aware of her gymnastics success.

Many thanks to F Wu for translating information about Mo Huilan from various Chinese newspapers.

. This page was created on June 7, 1999 and last updated November 2005.