Sport

Liu shows true Olympic spirit

Xiang Liu of China hops on the track after getting injured in the Men's 110m Hurdles Round 1 Heats on Day 11 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 7, 2012 in London, England.
Xiang Liu of China hops on the track after getting injured in the Men's 110m Hurdles Round 1 Heats on Day 11 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 7, 2012 in London, England. Cameron Spencer - Getty Images

THE Olympics are not always about the winners.

Sometimes, the really indelible memories are etched through an athlete's heartbreak.

Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang, the Athens 110m Olympic and former world champion, ensured he left a lasting one after crossing the line in London in a race he never officially finished.

Liu, who became China's first male Oympic track champion after his triumph in 2004, left an expectant nation stunned in his heat in Beijing four years later when an Achilles injury saw him barely get out of the blocks.

Coming into London as one of the favourites, tragedy struck again when he clattered into the first hurdle and crashed to the track in his heat.

Getting to his feet, the 29-year-old went to leave the stadium before he turned around, and, to a huge ovation from the 80,000 crowd, hopped the length of the track on one leg before going over to the final hurdle and kissing it.

After he crossed the finish line, Hungarian competitor Balazs Baji held Liu's arm aloft and the crowd saluted him.
Liu was then helped away by two other rivals, before leaving the stadium in a wheelchair.

Everyone understood his pain. Everyone could appreciate his courage.

Many also will have understood that the London Games were maybe his final chance to rid himself of his Beijing nightmare.

Whether he decides that the long, hard road back to fitness is worth starting all over again will probably not be known for a while.

Given the fortitude he has shown over the last four years, however, it would be rash to presume Liu will retire.

"It is hard to say. Lots of athletes get injured and come back," China's athletics team manager Feng Shuyong said. "It is such a pity, but his spirit is there. It is the true Olympic spirit, that winning is not so important, participation is what matters.

Topics:  hurdles london olympics



Community tackling ways to slow the suicide rate

Draft plan to reverse horrific suicide rate in the region

VIDEO: Christmas lights galore in the Clarence Valley

Lighting up Martin Crescent, Junction Hill for Christmas 2015. We want you to let us know where the best lights displays are this year.

It's time for a little Christmas cheer

Jail time for massage creep who digitally penetrated woman

SENTENCED: Timothy Moffatt, 68, was sentenced to more than 13-years imprisonment after more than 30 accounts of sexual assault.

Disgraced Coffs Harbour masseur sentenced for 13 years imprisonment

Local Partners

Koala stops traffic while taking an evening stroll

"I CANNOT believe it, just got home and had to give way to a koala crossing the Main Street.”


Community tackling ways to slow the suicide rate

Draft plan to reverse horrific suicide rate in the region

Tribute to remember rowing club legend

Greg Thompson at the 1991 Australian Masters. Greg also became Grafton Rowing Club President in the early 1990s.

The annual Head of the Clarence River Regatta is this weekend

Workshop to tackle Clarence Valley's suicide rate

A workshop to tackle the mental health issues around the Clarence Valley's tragic suicide figures will be held next Monday in the GDSC.

Health authorities seek community help to tackle suicide rate.

MOVIE REVIEW: Bad Santa 2

Billy Bob Thornton and Brett Kelly in a scene from Bad Santa 2.

NAUGHTY Santa sequel falls flat.

Coldplay bathes Brisbane fans in sea of colour

Chris Martin, lead singer of British rock band Coldplay, performs at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. Coldplay are in Australia for a five-show tour. (AAP Image/Dan Peled)

Frontman Chris Martin drapes himself in Australian flag

Sia, Keith Urban top Aussie Grammy nominations

Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban at the 50th Annual Country Music Association (CMA) Awards

Beyonce dominates with nine nods for 2017 Grammy Awards

New gallery connects humanity and nature

One of Craig Parry's amazing images to be shown at the gallery.

Well known photographer to display one metre images

No fear for Freya's final dance

TALENT: Freya Ramsey performs Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend at the Clarence River Dance Academy dance concert.

Freya prepares for her final Clarence River Dance Academy concert

Hailey Baldwin: I don't understand Taylor Swift's squad

Hailey Baldwin has taken a quick stab at Taylor Swift and co.

INSIDE STORY: The highlights of your $150 million CBD

GRAND PLAN: The highlights of the Ipswich CBD redevelopment and where they will be located.

Work on city heart's radical transformation to begin next year

VOTE IN OUR POLL: Sand mine opponents face serious dilemma

Public meeting for the proposed sand mine at Maroochydore last week.

Coast MP calls on Minister to stop KRA proposal with stroke of a pen

Developer's grand new multi-million dollar estate

NEW ESTATE: This is the only plan revealed by the property developer's new Billabongs Estate in Agnes Water.

DEVELOPER given the go ahead for a massive estate with 149 homes.

Banks reclaim Gladstone homes as job losses bite

LONG FALL: Property experts Heron Todd say, based on key market indicators, Gladstone is still travelling to the bottom of the market, with property prices set to get cheaper.

Property valuers say Gladstone housing market hasn't hit the bottom

The million dollar property to test Mackay's market

This Victoria St building will go to auction Tuesday and investors will be watching closely to see how much it sells for.

'High profile architect designed CBD asset' goes to auction

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!