The 17-year-old world-class track cyclist from City Beach was adopted by her Australian parents Kim and Steve from a Beijing orphanage when she was seven years old and barely spoke a world of English.
‘Even at a young age in the orphanage I had a thirst for hard work ” I wanted a purpose in life,’ she said.
Tian found her purpose at age 13 when she began competitive track cycling. She has broken the national record for sprint cycling at the Australian Youth Olympics twice within a year.
This year she also claimed a gold medal at the under-19 Australian championship women’s 500m time trial, covering the two laps of the velodrome in a time of 35.943 seconds ” a feat that will see her climb to the number 2 spot in the UCI under-19 ranking.
‘All I remember is looking up at my team-mate and saying let’s do it,’ Tian said.
‘I just exploded out of the gate, went as hard as I could.
‘I don’t remember what happened next but when I looked up at that incredible score I thought that has to be an Australian record.’
Tian said the lessons she learnt growing up as an orphan in the north-west province of Xinjiang were priceless.
She is proud of her background, which helped her build on her determination to succeed.
‘Cycling has given me the ability to speak for myself, show my talent and work in a team,’ she said.
‘I think it’s important that people know sport isn’t just sport, it gives people a purpose in life.’
Tian has been selected to once again represent Australia at the under-19 world track cycling championships in Glasgow, Scotland in August this year.