Liu Xiang is under enormous pressure.
It is expected to deliver China's only gold medal in track and field event in the coming Olympic Games in Beijing. He won the Athens Games four years ago, and had 110m Hurdles record until Cuban athlete Dayron Robles broke the record of 0.01 seconds.
Since June, Robles won seven championships in eight. Liu, on the other hand, suffers from a painful thigh.
Things are not good for China's biggest sports star. If he does not win gold, 1.3 billion people will be disappointed. As one commentator said, even a silver or bronze is not good enough.
China will win many gold medals, especially in table tennis, gymnastics, etc. But a gold medal in the 110m hurdles is bigger than any of them. He crushes the stereotype that Asians are intrinsically weaker in the disciplines of athletics.
This reminds me of Zhu Jianhua, another star athlete from Shanghai. Before the 1984 Games in Los Angeles, a high jumper repeatedly won the World Championship, with three world records in a short time. Then, when the matter is, took home a bronze medal.
I still remember the days of his crushing defeat. The year 1984 was a time China did not have much live broadcasting of sports events or television sets. Dozens of students crowded into a single dorm with a TV, and CCTV, not clever with the Talking Heads and commercials, made us wait for Zhu Jianhua.
He only cleared 2.31 m - disappointing for a person whose record was 2.39 m.
If we had internet, it would be the virtual spitting from across the country have drowned.
I fear the same fate could befall Liu.
Browse random comments from the media has begun to phrases like: If you do not snatch the gold at the Olympics in Beijing, all his previous achievements will be nothing. We hope that those who have access to him do not give him such encouragement. The last thing we need at this time Liu has more pressure.
In a sense, both the public and bureaucracy in China are like archetypal parents. They are pinning their hopes, promising all children. You can see the pattern if you study, parents who are preparing the kids for the annual national college entrance examination. They cook their children to their beds, buy expensive placebo disguised as a powerful supplement, also rent rooms in luxury hotels so they can concentrate on their studies.
All you are short on is to give kids a break - mentally.
I saw so many parents are trying to hammer home the importance of care that I'm surprised that the suicide rate of high school students is not higher. That's why I feel the young writer Han Han gave a good example by defying parental expectations and refusing to go to college. Someone needs to tell parents that good intentions alone can not provide parental guidance.
Many Chinese do not seem to realize that the pressure in the form of PEP work speaks only to a certain extent, and for some people. In addition, the side effects begin to kick the kids are naturally rebellious, and too much pressure only to intensify their challenge.
Athletes like Liu do not need any encouragement. They know very well what it means their performance. What they need is an approximation, or even a semblance of normality.
Do not put in another Liu Zhu. Do not make the terrible mistake of pressuring him till he buckles. Encourage him if he wins, loses the console. Whatever the outcome, which is our pride.
This article is free for republishing Source: kcq.com