Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Tragedy in Houston


你们好!
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It has been confirmed: Yao Ming has a stress-fracture in his left foot. The time needed to properly heal: up to 4 1/2 months. 2008 Beijing Olympics countdown: approx. 5 1/2 months.
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Yao has been quoted at ESPN.com as saying, "If I cannot play in the Olympics for my country this time, it will be the biggest loss in my career to right now."
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Yao Ming, the 7 foot 6 inch 中国人 (Chinese person) every NBA basketball fan knows and respects, is the most popular athlete to EVER come from China. His face - whether he knows/allows it or not - is used to sell everything is China, from rice to candy to cars to bank loans. The Houston Rockets, the NBA team Yao plays center for, is by far the most popular NBA team in China (their games are televised - the only American sport/team that gets any attention in the People's Republic), and the playground basketball courts scattered around Southwest University are perpetually dotted with Yao jerseys. Just this past Monday I asked my students to the say aloud the first thing they thought when I said "America." In less than a second, a gentlemen in the back yelled out, "NBA". He most certainly was thinking of his basketball hero, Yao Ming. Some of my students last semester said they hoped to study abroad in America after they graduate. Where? Houston, Texas.
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Yao is not only a critical part of the Chinese Olympic Basketball Team, but he is also one Chinese athlete being considered to carry the Chinese flag for the opening ceremonies - arguably the most important Olympic duty - as the world watches the Chinese athletes walk into National Stadium.
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He will have approx. 4-6 weeks to heal and prepare. For the sake of my home away from home (and all those aspiring 西南大学 basketballers who dream of being 7'6''), I am hoping he takes his Chinese medicine and heals quickly. But c'mon, Lebron James and the American Olympic Team is going to butcher ya'll...
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I love and miss you all,
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Phil
蓝麦飞

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