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叉腰肌 (chāyāo jī): iliopsoas

Xie Yalong as a roadside quack, telling a woman that her awkward gait is caused by a weak iliopsoas. (Artist: 笨侠)

Inner hip muscles; obscure and negligible flaw.

Xie Yalong, former Deputy Chairman of the Chinese Football Association (the national soccer association), reprimanded the Chinese women’s team for its loss at the 2008 Olympics, saying the women needed to build their iliopsoas muscles. Netizens lampooned Xie, since “iliopsoas” isn’t exactly a household term. While the Football Association has been blamed for poor performance in men’s soccer, the woman’s soccer team has a much better overall record.

Netizens found it hypocritical that the Football Association could criticize the relatively successful women’s team for such an odd shortcoming when the Football Association itself was guilty of many greater failings. This obscure muscle group is used today to refer to those slight faults which are pointed out by those with much more obvious shortcomings.

In 2012, Xie Yalong was sentenced to ten-and-a-half years in jail on corruption charges.

Example of “Iliopsoas”

Hupuzhongchao (@虎扑中超): The national soccer team works out so hard, I can’t even Doge org.gif



Guangzhoubianfengxiejunhui (@广州边锋谢俊辉): Is this the legendary exercising of the iliopsoas? (January 21, 2015)

传说中的练叉腰肌? [Chinese]