Four Persons, Twenty Years
1988 – 1994 – 2008
The clock of history has marched for twenty years. From refusing to accept and even insulting He Zhili, the Chinese are now cheering for Lang Ping. Even though He Zhili and Lang Ping are different in many aspects, it still shows that the Chinese people have become more broad-minded.
During these 20 years, Chinese sports have leapt from sitting back for individual talents to emerge to using theory and system to nurture athletes. He Zhili and others could only use their individual talents to become members of the teams of other nations, and they leave behind only brief flashes of brilliance like meteors. But Lang Ping was able to imprint the theory and method of Chinese training onto the soul of the American volleyball team. At these Olympics, the women’s single table tennis final was a match between China and Singapore, whose coach Liu Guodong is the brother of the Chinese coach Liu Guoliang. In the men’s badminton final, the Malaysian player’s coach is also Chinese. Meanwhile, the Chinese fencing team is coached by a French coach and they defeated France to win an Olympic gold medal. The changes in the emergence, opening and exchange of sports is the epitome of the vast changes in Chinese society as a whole.