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Yang Wei Defends 'Lavish' Wedding to Yang Yun
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Newlyweds Yang Yun and Yang Wei on the cover of Chinese Cosmopolitan Bride

2008 Olympic all-around champion Yang Wei defended his recent nuptials to Yang Yun, after criticism surfaced that the event was too lavish.

After a long engagement, Yang and Yang held a seaside wedding Nov. 6 in the coastal city of Sanya, Hainan Province.

Chinese Internet criticism, however, surfaced when reports that the bride wore a wedding dress valued at more than $5 million, and that the newlyweds were staying at a $5,000-a-night suite in Hainan. The dress reportedly was loaned from a Japanese designer.

Yang Wei, 28, responded to the criticism in his blog this week. The pair had waited to hold their wedding until after the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, where Yang led his team to gold and captured the all-around title. He was the 2006 and 2007 world all-around champion.

"Without Yang Yun's encouragement, I may not have been able to cope during 2008, much less achieve my Olympic dream," Yang wrote on his blog. "Having borne this huge pressure with her, I pledged to hold a romantic wedding for her. As a man, I felt it my responsibility."

Yang Yun, a double bronze medalist at the 2000 Olympic Games, has worked as a reporter, actress and model. She performed in the 2006 Disney film "Stick It."

Yang Wei wrote that he was grateful to friends and sponsors for their help organizing the wedding.

"Actually this was their way of expressing their love for us," Yang said.

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