China Presses Injured Athletes in Quest for Gold

From The New York Times:

When China’s champion 10-meter platform diver suffered a detached retina while training, a year after winning a gold medal in the 2004 Athens Olympics, family members and fans speculated about the imminent end of a great career.

The parents of the diver, Hu Jia, had surrendered him to trainers from the Chinese establishment at the age of 10, and had seen little of him since then. In an interview with a Chinese newspaper after the diver’s injury, his father suggested that this was sacrifice enough. Had he known his son risked blindness, the father said, “I would never have sent him off to dive.”

But less than two months before China hosts the Olympics for the first time, Mr. Hu is training and competing fiercely again, aiming to bolster a national diving squad that China hopes will dominate the sport this summer.

“The Beijing Olympics is an enormous glory to our generation,” Mr. Hu, whose other retina was also injured, was quoted in the Chinese media as saying last year. Speaking of another gold medal, he added, “I will do my utmost to grab one, unless my eyes are really blind.”

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