Yao's Post-Olympic Blues: 'Is My Life Over?'

After one of those gymnasts or hurdlers whose name I've already forgotten, Yao Ming was the most important Chinese athlete in the games. And long after the Beijing Olympics are over, when Yao's still toying with his place as the foremost seven-footer of his era, he'll be the face of that nation for so much of the non-Chinese world. ↵
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↵Someone had better tell Yao that he's got a lot of cultural ambassador-ing left to do, though, because he's got a bad case of the post-Olympics blues. From The Houston Chronicle: ↵
↵⇥"I look at these Games, now that they are over, and I wonder what is the next thing for myself, for my country, for all of us? We have spent so many years preparing for this event and now it is over. I have just played in the most important competition of my career. Is my life over?" ↵
↵Now, don't fear for Yao's future, any more than his injury history would have you doing anyway. The big man goes on to admit that these feelings "sound silly," and reflects that "you have to be Chinese to understand part of that feeling now and maybe you have to be me to know it all." Still, this could be an important crossroads for Yao. He's just completed, however unsuccessfully, a major task in his capacity as national spokesman. Now, with the Rockets having added Artest, his NBA career has never seemed more urgent. ↵
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↵So Yao, some advice: Take all those quizzical frowns, and turn them sideways into the sneer of pitched competition. You may feel like one chapter of your professional life has climaxed, but there's another one ready and waiting for you at your best. One that, if I may be frank, has a much better chance of yielding actual hardware.↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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