Sunday, September 17, 2006

Chinese Athletes

Li Ning (李宁 Lĭ Níng) probably rates as China’s most successful Olympian. At the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics he won six medals for gymnastics, three of them gold. After retiring from gymnastics he established the Li Ning sports apparel company which equips several of the Chinese national teams.

Among the women Gao Min (高敏 Gāo Mĭn) won gold at both the 1988 Seoul Olympics and the 1992 Barcelona Olympics in the women’s 3m springboard event.

The 2004 Athens Olympics were China’s most successful Olympics so far. They secured 32 golds, second only to the USA.

One of the most high profile Chinese golds was that of Liu Xiang (刘翔 Liú Xiáng) who won gold in the 110m men’s hurdles. His victory came as a total surprise to international commentators, who hadn’t even bothered to learn how to pronounce his name properly, and had to resort to only using his family name. ‘It’s Mr Liu, it’s Mr Liu, Mr Liu has won the hurdles’. Liu Xiang is pronounced something like ‘Lee-o Syang’. Mr Liu went on to break the world 110m hurdles record, and picked up lucrative advertising deals with Nike and Coca Cola along the way.

© Beijing-visitor.com