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Farmer-turned veteran free combat coach eyes Olympic gold
14:20, July 25, 2008

The coach of China's free combat team expressed his aspiration for gold on Friday in Zhengzhou, as the Olympic torch illuminated the capital city of central China's Henan province.

"I hope China's athletes can show the world the unique charm o fthe martial arts during the Olympics, where we will do our utmost to get the gold medal," said Liu Haike, a farmer-turned veteran coach with the country's free combat team.

Liu was selected a torchbearer in the sacred flame relay in Henan. He even integrated into the relay some martial arts movement.

Martial arts was everything for Liu. Born in a village in the vicinity of the legendary Shaolin Temple in Dengfeng city in Henan, the 42-year old has been deeply influenced by the kung fu since his childhood.

He did not give up practicing the martial arts even when he was a farmer. Liu later founded his own martial arts school and became a head coach for the 2,4000-plus students, who have the dream of becoming the next Bruce Lee.

"More than 2,000 students in my martial arts school will participate in the opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics," he said proudly.

Elected as the coach of China's free combat team in 2007, Liu felt his dream had finally come true.

"We are undertaking the intensive training with the Games only weeks ahead. During the Olympics, the kung fu fever is destined to sweep the world," he said.


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