Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Story with Legs

Last night was the men's 110m hurdles final, where thousands of people paid big bucks to watch the highly anticipated showdown between Liu Xiang and Dayron Robles of Cuba.

After Liu's shock exit from the National Stadium before competing in his heat, many Chinese immediately lost interest the event, some didn't care about the Olympics anymore.

Nevertheless, there was still a huge turnout to watch Robles easily win the race.

Somewhere out there, Liu was probably watching.

But he had the comfort of knowing Robles didn't beat his Olympic record time of 12.91 seconds.

Meanwhile, yesterday at the Nike store in Wangfujing, staff handed out posters showing a close-up of Liu's face airbrushed with these words:

Love competition.
Love risking your pride.
Love winning it back.
Love giving it everything you’ve got.
Love the glory. Love the pain.
Love sport even when it breaks your heart.

It's interesting how right after Liu pulled out Nike came out with this ad and poster...

Meanwhile, people are still speculating about the real reason of why he pulled out.

Some think because of his injuries he knew he didn't have a chance and this was a way for him to save face.

Others think it was initiated by sponsors or the pressure from the government was too great for him to handle.

And thanks to the Chinese language with words sounding the same but having different meanings, there's some virtual mocking in online forums and blogs.

Liu's given name is Xiang, the character for "flying". But there's also another character Xiang, which means "surrender" even though the pronunciation is the same. So there are lots of "Surrender Liu" topics flying around...

1 comment:

ks said...

even a great warrior like archilles has his weakness i am not surprised liu xiang has his too. wishing well and take good care of his injury. he will return.