I know. He’s Chinese. And we aren’t really in good terms with the Chinese right now. But this Chinese hurdler by the name of Liu Xiang displayed something that we Filipinos can relate to especially in these trying times.
Liu, the 2004 Olympic gold medalist for the 110m hurdles has been nursing an achilles injury which also kept him out of the medals in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He kept at his training,worked hard to get back to competitive form and never really let his injuries decide his fate in his sport.
In this year’s Olympics, his injury was aggravated right from his first hurdle. He lay there for a second then he got up, walked towards the exit near the starting blocks, appeared to contemplate something, then did something awesome.
He turned around.
On one leg, he hopped back to the track (the crowd went crazy of course) then made his way down towards the finish line.
On one leg.
He hopped down the side of the track then suddenly made his way back towards his lane. There was no way he was going to clear that last hurdle on one good leg. It’s hard enough with two. But then he stopped, bent down and kissed the last hurdle before slapping it the same way most athletes slap a competitor on the butt. Kind of like saying “Alright, you win.”
He went back to the side and crossed the finish line where his competitors greeted him.
Moments like these validate the minority of us who believe that sports is more than about winning. It’s about the values you pick up along the way. Winning is just a bonus.
These same moments are the reasons why I don’t understand how people can not see how sports can be a great tool to build a person.
Heck, a great tool to build a nation.
Check this out for the video c/o buzzfeed.