Monday, May 26, 2008

A Chinese Favorite

I have gotten to see quite a few famous people over the years. Nothing though will compare to seeing Scott "Freaking" Hamilton. I flipped out over seeing this ice skater in the row in front of me. (That is how he became Scott "Freaking" Hamilton rather than just Scott Hamilton.) However, this weekend I was able to witness a whole stadium of Chinese people flip out about as much as I did when Scott "Freaking" Hamilton sat down.

Brad and I are sitting in the Bird's Nest watching relays, pole vaulting, hammerthrow, triple jump, discus, steeplechase, etc. It was way more interesting than I thought. I even found myself getting excited as the hurdles were being placed on the track. When all were in a place, everybody started standing up and camera flashes were blinding. The athletes were walking out. I had no clue what was going on until Brad said "Liu Xiang."

For those of you who don't know, Liu Xiang is China's second most famous athlete. (Yao Ming, NBA player for Houston Rockets would be the first.) He is a 25 year old track star whose picture appears everywhere. In the 2004 Olympics, he was the first to ever win a gold medal in a track and field event for China. He has broken all kinds of records and is the holder of "Triple Crown" in hurdling. Not to mention, he is a cutie!

Yes, that is right, Brad and I got to watch Liu Xiang compete. We will be the envy of our students for sure. We jumped right in snapping pictures with the thousands around us. We captured Liu's early start on camera. While most athletes would be looked down upon for early starts, everyone has a soft spot for this kid. After, the second start, we watched Liu jump hurdles at break-neck speed, cross the finish line and capture the gold medal. He was the only athlete the whole night to be interviewed.

We stayed until midnight just so we could see Liu Xiang receive his gold medal. The stadium cheered for him and was much louder in singing the national anthem when he got his gold. When it was all over, he threw his flowers into the crowd. (Wouldn't be surprised if someone died from that...) And then, he took off his medal to throw, faking the crowd out. It was then, we became one of the millions of people who loves Liu Xiang.

Come August 2008, Brad and I will be cheering for Liu Xiang!

More on the rest of the Beijing weekend soon...

1 comment:

  1. So glad you and brad were able to get tickets, it looks like you had a blast!!!