Friday, July 13, 2007

Celebrating an Idol's Birthday

One of my colleagues Jennifer is obsessed with Olympic athlete Liu Xiang.

He won the gold medal in the men's 110m hurdles at the 2004 Athens Summer Games. Originally, the modest Shanghainese had only hoped to make the finals.

And just a few days ago Liu won a race in Lausanne, Switzerland, at 13.01 seconds, beating American Anwar Moore who clocked in at 13.12.

Liu will be competing in Liverpool, England this weekend.

The poster boy for the Chinese Olympics, he is young, good-looking and a gold medal athlete to boot. He's gotten lots of endorsements and contracts worth millions of yuan.

But back to my coworker.

Jennifer absolutely adores Liu. She has his picture as her desktop picture, reads every bit of news about him, even staying up late to watch his 13.01 second win the other night. She was recently in Shanghai and visited the university he attended. It's an understatement that she was thrilled to walk the same halls he did.

I love to tease her about Liu and she takes it all in stride. She said she admired him from the moment he competed in Athens and has been following him ever since.

Today is his birthday, which coincides with the sixth anniversary of when the International Olympics Committee announced Beijing would hold the 2008 Summer Games. She pointed this out this interesting fact to me.

So we decided to celebrate his 24th birthday (he is only a few months younger than her) with an ice cream to beat the heat.

At the grocery store we found a chocolate coffee-flavoured ice cream he was endorsing so of course she had to have that one! And yes, she savoured every bite.

Happy Birthday Liu Xiang!

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