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



Shoppers hit Prince St over holiday period

Noel Smith of Low Pressure Surf Co in Prince St, Grafton. Photo JoJo Newby / The Daily Examiner

A fruitful holiday season for Grafton's main street.

The scary reality behind Australia's heatwaves

A new report found 2016 was the hotter year yet.

YOU think the weather is bad now? It could get a whole lot worse.

Clarence full of golden grains of coastal goodness

Sand is fascinating if underrated.

Tribute to an undervalued natural resource

Local Partners

Pool upgrades a positive for community

New facilities at the South Grafton Pool improve access for all members of the community was officially opened by the Minister for Disability Services


Puppetry of the Penis secrets revealed ahead of show

The famed Puppetry of the Penis is coming to the Sunshine Coast for shows in Noosa and Caloundra.

WARNING: This interview contains adult themes and traces of nuts

Artist program to link to gallery theme

VALUABLE STINT: Indigenous artist Karla Dickens at work in Grafton Regional Gallery's studio during her 2010 artist's residency.

Gallery encouraging indigenous artists to take up residency offer

See the historical heritage horses

OPEN DAY: Enjoy a day out learning or finding your next dream horse from the Guy Fawkes River National Park.

Guy Fawkes Heritage Horse Association Inc. open day.

Clarence full of golden grains of coastal goodness

Sand is fascinating if underrated.

Tribute to an undervalued natural resource

Scriven's self-taught guitar playing wins over audiences

Adam Scriven will play Yamb'a Pacific Hotel next Wednesday night.

Multi-instrumentalist's self-taught approach wins over fans

Chelsea Handler blames the Kardashians for Donald Trump win

Chelsea Handler pictured in a scene from her talk show in Los Angeles.

TALK show host blames rise of reality TV family for election result.

Law & Order’s Trump inspired episode is still in limbo

The cast of Law & Order: SVU season 18, from left, Kelli Giddish, Raul Esparza, Mariska Hargitay, Ice-T and Peter Scanavino. Supplied by Channel 10.

SHOW'S mastermind unsure if or when twice-delayed episode will air.

Dating between the sheets on national TV?

Singles meet for the first time in their underwear in the SBS TV series Undressed.

NO shortage of singles willing to get Undressed with a stranger.

Clarence claims our First Lady of Blues

Catch the incredible Fiona Boyes live at Yamba's Pacific Hotel on Sunday afternoon.

Claiming the First lady of Blues

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

Rates safe from land value hike

DRIVING GROWTH: The Pacific Highway upgrade has been linked to improved land values.

Figures up in latest valuer-general report

KNIFE-EDGE: The housing tightrope we now face

Even the smallest interest rate rise will be hard for some to handle.

One if five home owners at risk, according to new analysis

Historical home leaves family's hands after 75 years

SALE CONFIRMED: The Gympie Regional   Realty team which sold the Ramsey property are (back) Mel Gastigar, Dorothy Palmer and Margaret Cochrane, with (front) home seller Terri-Jayne Ramsey.

Ramsey family played a huge role in Gympie's growth.

Pat Rafter's $18m Coast home proves hot property

PAT'S PAD: The Sunshine Beach home of tennis ace Pat rafter is on the market for a record price.

"It's a record for our company and for the Sunshine Coast.''

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!