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All eyes in China were on Liu at the London Olympics, as he sought to redeem himself after limping off the track at his first-round heat at the Beijing 2008 Olympics.
This isn't his first fail at an Olympics. It happens again. Many Chinese people feel being fooled by the hero. Media and some Chinese people criticized Liu Xiang's failure immediately. They doubted Liu Xiang's failure and taunts that it was a staged performance. Fair enough, people are supposed to have questions that “who made Liu Xiang race with such an injury?” and “did Liu Xiang purposely fall down before the hurdle?”
Some other Chinese netizens called Liu Xiang an actor while others think he is the “performer” for his commercial sponsors, including BMW, Nike and Coca-cola and Yili- one of the biggest diary companies in China. Liu Xiang’s failure is not only regarded as his failure, but also regarded as his commercial sponsors’ failure.
However, some Chinese people still show sympathy for their hero. In their eyes, even though Liu is not outstanding anymore, can’t run in the race, no more comparable to audiences’ expectations; they still love him, because he once fulfilled the national dream after all, and no one can deny he is an ordinary person who will be tired and injured. After all, Olympics are an athlete's largest dream. No athlete would like to see their Olympics ends in this way.
Some Chinese people are the most unwilling to forgive Liu Xiang. Liu does have many sponsorships but he's not the only stakeholder. Liu Xiang might be over-stressed. When he won in the past, the public unconditionally love him and he's treated as a symbol of the strong China by the media. This is totally misunderstanding and distorting.
Nevertheless, the drama of creating a national hero and a symbol for a strong China has been over. Liu Xiang is not a legend anymore. He is just a casual runner.
People would be glad that no one can direct the drama again in which Liu was manipulated to attract all the public’s attention easily and drive them crazy easily as a national icon after he retired. And this is really good.