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Fall of “giant stars”, rising of “new stars”?

By Yutang Sports 08 Apr 2015

Yesterday, Liu Xiang announced his retirement. After that, the sky of Chinese sports  which once was bright over the past decade became gloomy.

Liu Xiang, Yao Ming and Li Na, altogether sketched the picture of how Chinese sports made progress and breakthroughs in the past few years.

Now it is not too late for us to discuss the background, influence and function of “giant stars”. Especially for this stage, these discussions are very meaningful for the future of Chinese sports.

 “Late” retirement

Nobody would like to see their favorite “giant stars” retiring early, but for Liu Xiang, his retirement seems to be a little bit late. After all, since 2012 London Olympic Games, he has been away from the field for over two years. As a result, from the “favorite” in the eyes of media, he became a “passerby”.

Perhaps, Liu Xiang has been trying to prove himself all the time. 

As one of the top players of athletics in China, his efforts are beyond our imagination, and so is his pain. When sadness came to Liu Xiang, he had no choice but to bear it. When he announced his retirement, nobody would forget the glory he brought to Chinese athletics and sports. Those sad scenes will be remembered by people, because for the booming Chinese sports it would be much more meaningful to remember those “scars” instead of the glories.

 “Magic” sponsorship

Due to advancement of sports and our era, the influence of an athlete and his event could be reflected from sponsorship he gains and products he represents. In this sense, we call Yao Ming, Li Na and Liu Xiang as “giant stars” in sports.

Without seeing the misery and desolation of Chinese athletics, it would be hard to imagine the influence and market of Chinese athletics that Liu Xiang acquired. But most doubts for Liu Xiang derived from his failures in two key competitions, the dilemma that he didn’t compete in recent two years as well as assumption whether he was “kidnapped” by the sponsors as a result of sponsorship contracts.

 “Lonely” call

After Liu Xiang’s retirement, people has made such a conclusion: the era of “giant stars” in Chinese sports has ended. 

To some extent, “giant stars” represent social influence and commercial value, while “heroes” in sports represent healthy appetency and positive values. It might needs some days to produce another giant star for Chinese sports, but what we really call for and really need are “heroes” in sports who can bring “positive energy” to the public, especially the youths.

Source: People's Daily

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