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English>>China Society

Olympic champions' statues idea sparks debate

By Wang Zhenghua  (China Daily)

08:36, August 14, 2012

Life-size portraits of champion swimmers Sun Yang and Ye Shiwen look out from the Olympic Green in Beijing. However, plans to honor them in their hometown of Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, by erecting statues have sparked controversy. Photo by Liu Guanguan / China News Service

Widespread opposition has arisen against a proposal to honor two Olympic swimming champions by erecting statues of them in their hometown.

Sun Yang, 21, and Ye Shiwen, 16, both natives of Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, were told on Friday that the statues would be put up in front of Hangzhou Stadium.

The idea for the project was conceived by the chief of the Hangzhou sports bureau, Zhao Rongfu.

In London, Sun won gold medals in the men's 400m and 1,500m freestyle races, came in second in the 200m freestyle race. He was also a member of China's 4x200m freestyle relay team that won a bronze medal. Ye stunned the world with her record-breaking victory in the women's 200m and 400m individual medley.

Hangzhou has built statues to honor top athletes in the past. Even so, the proposal this year has provoked widespread controversy.

Statues of Hangzhou-born champions in past Olympic and Paralympic Games now stand outside the stadium in the images of gymnast Lou Yun, swimmer Luo Xuejuan, shooter Wu Xiaoxuan and volleyball player Zheng Xiongying.

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thomas at 2012-08-14202.89.190.*
if honouring champions by way of statues is too much have them inducted into the hall of fame at various section of the stadium, people can look up to them for insperations and leadership.I hope your champions will get lots of recognition and endorsement for bringing so much pride and honour to your country and people. They put in so much time ,sacrifice endurance ,pain,etc they deserve the spoils.

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