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People's Daily Online>>Sports

Yao looks foward to a new dawn

By Sun Xiaochen (China Daily)

09:03, December 31, 2011

BEIJING - Basketball great Yao Ming summed up 2011 with the simple word "release".

"So many things happened in 2011. If I have to pick one (word to describe this year), it would be 'release', which could be understood as relax or relinquish," Yao said in his annual review published in the China News Weekly recently.

"I put down something while picking up some others; some things that I wanted to do but had no chance to really touch before," said the former Houston Rockets all-star center, who retired from the game in July.

After leaving the sport due to a chronic foot injury, Yao unloaded the burdens of being an NBA super star, the national team's backbone and even part of his Sino-US ambassadorship.

That has made him available for a host of new challenges. Yao will now play the roles of college student, professional sports team owner, charity enthusiast and budding entrepreneur, which are all unfamiliar but fascinating to the 2.26-meter giant.

"If I identify it as something I am supposed to do and enjoy doing, then I will try my best without hesitation," Yao said. "I expect several things from myself in 2012. I hope to continue promoting my home city Shanghai's world image, to lead the Sharks (Yao's CBA club) to finish higher in the domestic league and to build more schools in rural areas. I also look forward to new courses at university and the joy of study," Yao said.

Meanwhile, Yao said he would also like to see an adjustment in the country's sporting focus, shifting from the medal-first philosophy to a more comprehensive approach.

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