This guy. Just can’t catch a break on the Olympic stage since being crowned 2004 Olympic champion in the 110m hurdles. He was considered the golden boy, and face of Chinese track and field during the 2008 Beijing games–that was when his career took a turn for the worse–injured before ever coming out of the starting blocks. He was the favorite for the gold medal, and would have been running in front of thousands of adoring Chinese fans, yet he failed to start a race.
Earlier today, during the men’s 110m hurdle qualifying races, Liu made it a little further, yet experienced another injury, to his right leg, the same leg that he hurt during Olympic competition 4 years ago. This injury came on the first hurdle–Liu plowed through it, falling to the ground, as a few other competitors continued on toward the next round of competition. Liu was one of three athletes who didn’t even make it to the second hurdle.
Liu got up, signaling his spirit of sportsmanship and hopped on his left leg, alongside the track toward the finish line. He went to the final hurdle in his assigned lane, and offered it a kiss–and with that kiss, a profound statement. Those hurdles may certainly serve as a bane at times, yet without them, you can’t do what you do so well.