Thursday, August 14, 2008

2008 Beijing Olympics: Best Story of the Games

One of the best stories for this Olympics is the story of Du Li, the Chinese women's shooter. She has been a consistent force in women's shooting for the past few years, repeatedly winning various world level shooting events. She was the reining Olympic champion of the Athens games for the 10m air rifle.

On the first day of competition she was supposed to be part of a 2-women Chinese team that was dubbed "双保险" "a double insurance" for the gold medal in the 10m air rifle competition - the 1st gold medal awarded for the Beijing games and the 1st gold for China.

The first event came and went without any news. The final result was shocking. Of the 3 medalists, there were no Chinese. The perennial favorite, Du Li, finished 5th.

A female Chinese CCTV reporter caught up with Du Li as she was leaving the competition. During the brief interview Du Li was visibly crying under her visor. Her emotions - from losing the 1st gold medal, from the pressure she put on herself, from the pressure of expectations from her fans, from the Chinese people - these all out. This feeling even made the interviewing reporter cry while encouraging Du Li that she could come back.

Katerina Emmons, the gold medalist of the event said in her press conference that she really felt bad for Du Li. "The media put so much pressure on her. I know that she can shoot so much better than she did today. If possible, I want to give my flowers [that she received for winning the gold medal] to her."

Fast forward a few days. China has had a very successful Olympics. Men's gymnastics won gold. Women's gymnastics won gold. More than 15 gold and 20 plus medals later, Du Li was back center stage competing in the final of the women's 50m rifle competition.

Leading by 1 after the qualification round, Du Li's first shot was a 8.7, the lowest of all the competitors. The air was sucked out of the venue and the fans could feel a sense of unease.

However, this time the happy ending was meant to be. Du Li pulled away at the end, winning by almost 2 points.

When asked by the reporter how it felt to have 4 years of hard work come to fruition, Du Li responded that it was actually the past 4 days that have been so incredibly difficult. Crying tears of joy, she thanked all of the fans who went out to support her, sending her gifts and cards, encouraging her to keep on fighting on. It was that motivation that pushed her through.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Except for a few controversies, this year’s Summer Games is running smoothly. China has been piling up on the golds in the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics Medal Count/Tally since day one. And the US and the rest are having a hard time catching up.

Latest Medal Count/Tally of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics