Sports / Stars

No heir in sight as Olympic legend Liu retires

By Sun Xiaochen (China Daily) Updated: 2015-04-07 20:36

What they say about Liu Xiang's retirement:

No heir in sight as Olympic legend Liu retires

"Although he approaches training and racing very seriously every time, he is actually far from a perfect person in daily life. He appears careless sometimes, as he usually forgets things. He is a bit lazy in cleaning and organizing his belongings, so his room always seems in a mess. Sometimes he remembers he has left his training gear in the hotel room at the last minute as we leave for the next destination."

—— Shi Dongpeng, Liu's retired former national teammate, who trained with him for many years.

No heir in sight as Olympic legend Liu retires

"Liu Xiang's athletic success was overpromoted and excessively raised as a symbol of the country's power on the world stage, which was far beyond what he could shoulder himself. He had no choice but to risk his health by racing in London (due to the nation's expectations). It's unfair to pour all the criticism on him alone. Since that moment, his athletics career has been close to its end."

—— Lu Yuanzhen, sports sociology professor at South China Normal University

No heir in sight as Olympic legend Liu retires

"(Liu Xiang's retirement) is such a relief both for himself and his fans. We just want to say 'thank you' to him. For Liu, he can finally do the things he wants to do. If he hadn't retired, he would still have to push himself and struggle to do things that he's already done. Now his life starts a new chapter. For the fans, we don't need to keep dreaming for some unrealistic miracle to happen - that's a big comfort."

—— Bai Yansong, TV news commentator with Chinese Central Television

No heir in sight as Olympic legend Liu retires

"Flying is your instinct. Although injury has broken your wings, you are still flying high in my mind. As an athlete, Liu has done what ordinary people could not do by recovering from a torn Achilles tendon and returning to the track. My achievements are so small compared with Liu's. I don't think there is any athlete who can pick up his baton and stand tall for Chinese track and field in the near future."

—— Zhang Peimeng, 100-meter sprinter who was said by the media to be a potential successor to Liu as the face of Chinese athletics.

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