Just watched what happened to 110M Hurdle 2004 Gold Medalist, Liu Xiang. I feel terrible about what happened. If you havn't realized yet, he's the most famous person in China, period. The entire time I was in Shanghai this year, you couldn't turn on the tv, or look in a magazine without seeing his face, and how he was a sure bet for another Gold in Beijing.
I identify with him, and am especially proud of him, because he is from Shanghai. He looks like us, he talks like us - 100% authentic. That's why I'm so crushed at what I saw today. He was in so much pain, and watching him kick the wall in frustration brought up a lot of emotions.
It's not fair, all the pressure being placed on him. It's an obvious case of over-training. And still, he tried his best - he walked out, got on the blocks, and started. If it wasn't that schmuck that false-started, he would have pushed himself to get over those hurdles. I don't think people realize how serious his injury is. You hear about athletes competing injured, but his injury was dangerous. Tendons are fragile, and there was a real possibility of him being taken out on a stretcher. So yes, everyone's disappointed, but as a Chinese, we should be so proud of him, for his fight to compete and fulfill everyone's ridiculous expectations. If you're going to blame someone, blame the coaches for not watching out for his health. Liu Xiang is the last person we should be upset at.
Liu Xiang, we're so proud of you. You represented every Shanghainese and every Chinese person with great dignity, and you can hold your head high.