Death of ‘soccer god’ sparks nostalgia among Chinese fans
When Diego Maradona died on Wednesday, it was a moment of nostalgia for many soccer fans in China, who were reminded of childhood memories of watching the World Cup with their parents. Maradona is often mentioned as the greatest soccer player in the history of the sport. While he retired from professional-level soccer in 1997, millennials remember watching him as kids, when he played for the Argentinian national team in the 1980s and 1990s.  “When I was younger, most of my memories with my dad were sitting there watching football while my dad talked about the miraculous plays by Maradona,” a 24-year-old woman from northeastern China’s Jinlin, who wanted to be identified by her surname
How a coal miner became China’s first world boxing champion
Most boxers who turn professional have already spent years sharpening their skills on the amateur scene. Not China’s Xiong Chaozhong. When Xiong turned pro at the age of 23, the only grind he had come to know was pushing carts out of the coal mines for 13 cents a day, working 10-hour shifts.  He is a member of the Miao (Hmong) ethnic minority, and he started laboring at 17. He had dropped out of school to help support his family, who lived in the countryside of Wenshan, in the south of Yunnan province. But the grueling job did teach him something that helped prepare him for the rigors of the ring. “Pulling coal carts was about technique, not strength. Boxing is the same,” said Xiong in the
Tokyo Olympics mean a lot more to Japan than a sporting spectacle
Japan has far more at stake than its athletes picking up medals in the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games and Paralympics, which explains the government’s single-minded commitment to going ahead with the event in the face of the threat posed by the novel coronavirus. The Japanese government on Wednesday reiterated that the Games would go ahead in July as scheduled, with chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga declaring that preparations were continuing despite the spread of the virus worldwide. The previous day, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) threw its weight behind Tokyo’s position. “We are preparing for a successful Olympic Games, Tokyo 2020,” said IOC head Thomas Bach. “I would like t
The spectacular fall of Chinese swimmer who called himself ‘king’
“I am the king,” Sun Yang said at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. He was referring to his position in the 1,500m freestyle and his rivalry with Australian swimmer Mack Horton, but he could have been talking in general. Much like the other “Sun King,” Louis XIV of France, China’s superstar swimmer has surrounded himself with a court of flatterers and sycophants. That is why Sun, 28, only talks to state-run media Xinhua and CCTV, plus two or three Chinese print journalists, as he knows the coverage will be positive. Heaven forbid there was any negativity, or worse: people preferred rival Ning Zetao, as some fans and media did. This and the literal embrace of swimming’s governing body – Sun was hug
No deal and no name as German soccer counts the cost of China backlash
A German soccer club and one of the country’s star players are feeling the heat from China.  News emerged over the weekend that Bundesliga side Cologne lost a deal with a Chinese gambling sponsor. Meanwhile, state-controlled Chinese media are still blacklisting Arsenal star and former German international player Mesut Özil. According to Cologne newspaper Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, the loss for the postponed deal was about $1.66 million.  The club did not offer comment but confirmed that the sponsors from China had withdrawn the potential deal, reported Deutsche Welle online. Cologne made headlines last month when they chose to postpone a joint academy with the Chinese soccer club Liaoning.  The
The man who brought the NBA to China
David Stern liked to tell the story of travelling China in 1990 when a local guide in Xian revealed her favorite team. “You know, I am a great fan of the team of the red oxen,” she told Stern and his wife, Dianne.  Cue confusion then smiles on realizing it was the Chinese translation for the Chicago Bulls. Nowadays, the whole of China knows the Zhijiage Gongniu, as they are known in Mandarin, and Stern is as more to credit for that than anyone – even their star player. “Without David Stern, the NBA would not be what it is today,” Michael Jordan, the six-time NBA champion with the Chicago Bulls and talisman of that 1990 team, said after Stern’s death at the age of 77 on New Year’s Day. “He gu
The ‘Linsanity’ of Jeremy Lin's hairdos over the years
As Jeremy Lin tears up the Chinese Basketball Association this season for the Beijing Ducks, he’s returned to form in many ways. One of the most notable – aesthetically speaking – is his haircut. With shaved sides and a short, straight top, his Beijing styling looks somewhat similar to his hair during the “Linsanity” craze, when the Taiwanese-American first shot to fame in the NBA in 2011. Lin has long been a style icon off the court, setting trends with his fashion sense and his eclectic, sometimes controversial, hairstyles.  Here we’ve collected a definitive list of his most memorable hairdos, in chronological order. Palo Alto: The So Cal Beginnings         View this post on Insta
Wingsuit flying tournament in China
Australian flyer Scott Paterson has emerged the victor at a wingsuit tournament in Yunnan, China. He was among 15 flyers from 11 countries who joined the three-day event. Chinese state media reported that the prize money will be donated to poor local children.
A piece of Chinese heritage struggles to survive
It’s 5.50am, with just a faint purple light glowing on the horizon, when a group of children aged six to 15 march diligently towards their classrooms.  At 6.15am, they begin lessons in Chinese, English and math. At 7.50am, they stop for breakfast.  There’s no time to linger, students must be clean and dressed by 8.30am, when they head upstairs to two spacious rooms on the first floor of an L-shaped building near the center of Liaoning’s provincial capital, Shenyang.  Here the real training begins. This is not academics, but acrobatics. The boys and girls prepare to bend their bodies back­wards until they can hold their legs with their hands.  “One, two, three!” instructs Wang Ying, 47, head