It’s been quieter at the CSB than I had planned, but George Vescey of the New York Times wrote a column today that pretty much summed up the reason. It’s hard to think about sports being important when so much of what’s going on in the rest of the world is going wrong. Of course it was a great day for Pennsylvania, my home state, in the NFL playoffs today. But after the game, when the crowds go home from their expensive seats and the players go home to their expensive mansions, in a world that feels like it’s crumbling, it feels like sport should be put in a different place rather than front-and-center in our world views. Kudos to Vescey for expressing that sentiment today, and hopes for a much, much better 2009.
Mad at Sports, and Mad at the World – George Vescey column in the NY Times, 01/11/2009
China Daily reports that Liu Xiang’s medical team has agreed with the opinions of U.S. doctors who say that the injury that forced the 2004 Olympic champ out of the first round at the Beijing Olympics requires surgery. That’s likely to be done in the U.S. as well – and it makes Liu one of several Chinese sports superstars who have gone the route of making the trip to the United States for sports-related surgery. (Volleyball stars Feng Kun and Zhao Ruirui made the trip to Chicago in early 2007 to receive surgery for sports-related injuries and snagged a bronze medal in Beijing in August, both playing at full strength.)
Star hurdler Liu to go under the knife
That was some 2008, wasn’t it? I know it’s not over quite yet – but for me and so many others who pay close attention to the Chinese sports world, the most important date on the calendar was August 8, 2008. The CSB shut down for a bit so that I could concentrate on my work for Sports Illustrated, and it was an amazing and very gratifying professional experience to work with such a talented team of writers at the Games.
The CSB will open up shop again starting now, and will be updated weekly or as events allow in the China sports world. No doubt there will be much news to share and to comment on in the coming weeks and months. Thanks to everyone who looked up the blog in the last few months – seeing that the website continues to get over 30,000 hits per month was a big part of the reason why I’ve decided to keep the blog going past the Beijing Olympics.
For now, I leave you with my articles from the Games and from SI’s Olympic preview issue, in which I wrote an essay on “The Chinese Athlete” – the stereotypes, the misconceptions, and the realities of developing into a sports star in the modern-day People’s Republic of China.
Magazine: The Chinese Athlete (July 28, 2008 issue)
Sunday, August 24: Indelible Memories: U.S. volleyball teams persevere in wake of tragedy
Saturday, August 23: Volleyball: U.S. women find silver lining in tragedy
Thursday, August 21: Volleyball: Former Chinese national team star has U.S. playing for gold medal
Tuesday, August 19: Lang Ping’s magical mystery tour
Monday, August 18: China reacts to its fallen hero
Sunday, August 17: Scenes from Beijing: A day in the life of Chinese Olympic sports (scroll down for story)
Saturday, August 16: China-U.S. volleyball: U.S. women’s volleyball team churns out victory from the heart
Saturday, August 16: Scenes from Beijing: Them’s fightin’ words (scroll down for story)
Friday, August 15: Scenes from Beijing: Bring on the yellow cows (scroll down for story)
Wednesday, August 13: Scenes from Beijing: Volleyball – “Minor” sport? Don’t tell that to the Chinese (scroll down for story)
Saturday, August 9: Truly sad day for two nations (with David Epstein and Rebecca Sun)
Friday, August 8: Tiananmen quiet by comparison to opening ceremony
Friday, August 8: China’s top 10 Olympic stories
Tueday, August 5: What I’m looking forward to: Yao Ming
Interesting blog post at the Guardian (UK) today about sporting rivalries. The Davis Cup final between Russia and the United States will be played this weekend – but how long will it be before China is considered a bona fide major sports nation, when measured by real athletic success? The piece below brings up some interesting points.
Taming of the Feuds (Guardian Unlimited, UK)
From ESPN.com, a report that Justine Henin, the defending Olympic gold medalist in women’s tennis, may not go to Beijing because the pollution there aggravates her asthma.
Henin trying to manage asthma, may skip Olympics (ESPN.com)
The BALCO scandal (European version) continues…
Greek sprinters and coach deny BALCO links (Reuters India)
News links today include a report on the progress of a major venue for the Olympics, boating, and the Special Olympics World Games being hosted in Shanghai. In F1 action, the Chinese Grand Prix was held on Sunday in Shanghai as well…news on that event to come.
Behind the scenes with Philip Bromwell at the Special Olympics World Games (RTE News, Ireland)
All for sport and life with Healthy Athletes Program (People’s Daily Online)
New Zealand Special Olympians win 17 medals and still going (Stuff.co.nz)
Impressive show from Pakistani cyclist helped grab one more gold for the country (Associated Press of Pakistan)
Curvy Beauty (Editor’s Note: The National Indoor Stadium – å›½å®¶ä½“è‚²é¦†) all set for the Olympics (The Star, Malaysia)
Peng Linwu, China’s first F1 power boatman (People’s Daily Online)
So many news clips, so little time.
World University Games (Universade):
The Chinese team had a great Universade, winning the medal count with 32 golds and 87 total medals.
A year out from the Beijing Olympics, China wins University Games gold race (International Herald Tribune)
A memorable Universade for hosts (The Nation – Thailand)
Universade concludes, China topping medal standings (China View)
Involvement of colleges leads China sports to sustainable development (People’s Daily Online)
China on way to sports system transformation (People’s Daily Online)
Nice haul for Canada at Bangkok Universade (Winnipeg Free Press) Editor’s note: This article isn’t about China, but I’m feeling a little guilty at not having posted more news of the World University Games (Universade) while they were being contested, so this is the CSB’s attempt at a touch of penance…it’s a great event, one that China has hosted in the past, and one well worth paying attention to.
World Badminton championships:
Trio of medals for China (SportingLife.com)
Report on Yan Zi in Montreal (Edmonton Sun) It’s old news now – Yan Zi lost after this article was posted – but it’s worth reading about how China’s stellar doubles player made it all the way to the singles semifinals against Justine Henin in Montreal from the qualifying rounds.
World Track and Field Championships (Starts Saturday August 25 in Osaka, Japan):
Sweet and sour taste of reality (The Herald) Coverage of the British national track and field team that will compete in Osaka, with some thoughts about 2008.
China hoping a strong comeback in athletics (Sri Lanka Daily News)
Yen for running (Times Online) Not a Chinese story, but a great feature on Britain’s Mara Yamauchi, her country’s top entry for the marathon at the world championships (fellow Briton and world record holder Paula Radcliffe had a baby in January and will not be competing in Osaka).
Summer Games are coming, but U.S. dominance is over (SportingNews.com)
Beijing sees Olympics as China’s shot at gold (Hollywood Reporter)
Olympic sailing test event: Report on the British team (SportingLife.com)
IT at Beijing Olympic Games to cost US$400 million (Washington Post)
Beijing’s weekend smog experiment (Blog entry at The Lede, New York Times)
More important than gold medals (Japan Times)
Olympic education for 400 million young people in China (International Olympic Committee)
IOC still believes in Beijing (BBC: Sport Editors’ Blog)
State Councilor urges better implementation of anti-doping regulation (People’s Daily Online)
WADA asks China to increase doping tests for athletes (Voice of America)
Smog casts a cloud over Beijing (BBC)
Coastal city pulsates with Beijing (People’s Daily Online)
It’s not a China thing, and honestly, it’s not even a basketball thing – it’s bigger than that. Every CSB reader deserves to check out this story.Â It’s must-read stuff: the New York Times’ story on Utah Jazz guard Derek Fisher and how he and his family are dealing withÂ his ten-month-old daughter’sÂ cancer diagnosis, right in the middle of the biggest Jazz postseason in a decade. Kudos to the Times for excellent, in-depth reporting on a rare form of eye cancer and Fisher’s struggle to make the right decision for his daughter.
Fisher is a father first, and a Jazz player later (NYTimes.com)
Took a little while for me to realize that the clock showing the time of blog postings had never been changed from my previous location in mainland China. Now that I’m on the U.S. west coast, I’ve set the clock to reflect the change. Just one of those housekeeping moments in the blogosphere…and how cute that the blog is “smart” enough to post this on February 11, when my two previous posts (on basketball and figure skating) were posted for February 12, China time…
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