Coming into the 2014 Paralympic Games, China had amassed an impressive 326 gold, 259 silver, and 198 bronze medals 1984-2012, but all 783 of them had come in the Summer Games. The best result at a Winter Games had been a fifth place finish by Peng Yuanyuan in the women’s 5km cross-country classic style standing in Vancouver four years ago.
Stephon Marbury could be in line for a second statue in Beijing. Having missed most of the season through injury, he has inspired the Beijing Ducks in the CBA playoffs, leading them into a finals showdown against the Xinjiang Flying Tigers after a 3-2 series win against the Guangdong Southern Tigers.
The Chinese Super League season kicked off this past weekend, and goals were few and far between. Ominously, though, the top of the table is already occupied by Guangzhou Evergrande…
That’s Online (also in the print versions) has a nice profile of Darci Liu, China’s first and so far only female professional surfer, who, amazingly, only learnt to swim at the age of 18: Continue reading Sports round-up: CSL, surfing, golf, tennis and the invisible Paralympics
Paralympic action starts today in Sochi with China’s 10-strong contingent looking to claim the country’s first ever Winter Paralympic medal. Five of the 10 form the curling team, which finished third at the World Championships in both 2012 and 2013, so a medal is a definite possibility. The other five are cross-country skiers: no red hot favorites, but results have been improving and a podium finish is not out of the question.
Here’s my Sports Talk column from today’s Global Times on Oscar Pistorius’ fall from grace:
When Oscar Pistorius came to Beijing for the 2008 Paralympic Games, he was already something of a celebrity. As a 17-year-old, he had won Paralympic gold in Athens four years earlier, and though he had failed in his bid to run at the Beijing Olympic Games against able-bodied athletes, he didn’t disappoint at the Paralympic Games, winning three gold medals and running record times in each event.
Speaking to him on the track immediately after his third win, I remember a humble young man breathless with excitement, and quick to credit others for his success. He told me his dream had been realized. But that dream has turned to a nightmare.
In light of recent events, it’s interesting to look back at a feature I did on Oscar Pistorius in 2008. I interviewed him twice on the night he won his third Paralympic gold medal – once immediately after he crossed the finish line, then again an hour or two later after he had got his breath back.