Monday, August 18, 2008

Crying Over Hurdles

What happened? Did someone die? Nope, Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang pulled out of his qualification heat at the Olympics after hurting his Achilles tendon. He was the defending Olympic gold medalists from 2004. I feel sorry for him; it must suck to train that hard yet not able to compete. Since I tore my calf muscle a few months ago, I can imagine how much pain he was in (stay off the Levaquin).

Having said that, I really don't understand the outpouring of grief and anger (some people are calling him a loser). I know a lot of people in China expected him to win the gold medal but why do so many people feel personally attached to him? Are people crying for him or themselves? Maybe I'm just not as compassionate as all those grieving Chinese people. There were no tears when Tom Brady choked late in the season last year, knocking me out of my fantasy football league playoffs.

I'm watching the Beijing Olympics on TV but whether an athlete (yes, including Michael Phelps) wins any medals has no impact on my life. However, I never believed the number of gold medals won by the USA has anything to do with how "great" this country is. The Olympics is just a bunch of athletes competing with each other for medals and future commercial endorsements. I realize it takes a lot of time/effort/sacrifice to get to the Olympics but it's an individual choice. I spend my free time sleeping or playing computer games, knowing there is no medal (not yet!) but it's my choice.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i'm not sure how much of a choice chinese olympians in china really have in terms of competing or not.

i remember in games past watching divers and gymnasts cracking under the pressure. it was sad to watch having the hopes/hangups of an entire nation of over a billion on your shoulders.

seems like there is a little less cracking under pressure. Liu Shan had more pressure on him than Yao Ming, gymnasts, anybody out there.