|Help | Sitemap | Archive | Advanced Search|
|Voice of Readers|
|China At a Glance|
|Constitution of the PRC|
|CPC and State Organs|
|Chinese President Jiang Zemin|
|White Papers of Chinese Government|
|Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping|
|English Websites in China|
|Sunday, July 15, 2001, updated at 11:13(GMT+8)|
Octogenarian Desires to See Beijing Olympics in lifetimeWhen men and women, young and old flushing into the streets, cracks joyfully flickering into the sky and taxis' horns mixing into the air, a gray-haired octogenarian quietly gazed at the TV in his flat near the Temple of Heaven in Beijing Friday evening.
The moment means more than a joy to Mou Zuoyun.
"I have been waiting for this moment for 65 years," said the 88- year-old Mou, who had witnessed China's Olympic success and failure, joy and sorrow for more than half a century.
He was too excited to speak until ten minutes passed after International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Juan Antonio Samaranch announced to the world that Beijing was elected the host for the 2008 Games.
"Now I hope I can live long enough to see the Beijing Olympics with my own eyes," said Mou, with the memory of past Olympics flashing in his mind.
Sixty five years ago, Mou, then a promising basketball player, made his Olympic debut in Berlin in 1936 after 17-day exhausting sea journey. But he did not stay long and packed disappointedly with his teammates in an early exit from the Games.
"From then on I began to hope that China should play host to Olympic Games," said the Tianjin native. "But, I could not see any chance of it at that time."
Mou went to the United States, birthplace of the basketball game, in 1946, and studied at the Springfield College, Massachusetts till he got his Master degree of basketball in 1947.
In 1952, Mou left for the Olympic Games for the second time as the Chinese national basketball team coach. However, the Chinese delegation was a late arrival for the Games because of political reasons and Mou's team finally failed to show up.
"At that time, some people in the world did not want us Chinese in the Games. Thus, our appearance in Helsinki itself was a victory," he said.
Mou then served as a sports official in China but the Olympic fire in his heart never extinguished. Four decades passed quietly. In year 1993, Mou left for Monte Carlo to show his support for Beijing's first try to host the Olympics, full of hope. But the old man returned with tears following Beijing's loss to Sydney by two votes for the 2000 Games.
"My heart was broken. But I thought we could come back," Mou recalled.
Beijing did come back. In its second bid eight years later for the century-old Games, the city was rewarded the honor the Chinese had yearned for long.
When the word "Beijing" slid from the lips of Samaranch, an old friend of Mou who is seven years younger than him, Mou sat back quietly in the old armchair. His eyepit turned red, but the joyful tears were held back.
"I am very, very happy to see Beijing win the bid," Mou said almost word by word. "I have been waiting for this for so long. Beijing's victory made me really proud."
Mou attributed Beijing's success to the promotion of China's international status and the development of Chinese sports.
"It was impossible for a Chinese city to host the Olympic Games before the founding of the People's Republic of China, when China' s international status was low and the athletes' competition skills were underdeveloped,"
"But things are different now with the development of the economy, culture and sports in China, especially after it opened its door to the outside world."
Mou also noted a consistent pursuit for the Olympic Games as a strong weapon for Beijing's bid.
"We lost the bid last time, but we did not give up," he said firmly. "We came back with better preparation this time and we deserved to win."
"Beijing's victory also belongs to the whole nation," he added.
The aged Olympian did not forget to remind his compatriots of their obligations to the Olympics following Beijing's success.
"We should not be contented for winning the bid, but try all out to make the Beijing Olympics the best ever Games."
The clock hands pointed to eleven, two hours later than Mou's usual bed-time, yet he had no intention to sleep. Tens of thousands of Beijingers were still celebrating out in the streets, sharing Mou's joy on one of the greatest days in the city's 3,000 years of history.
In This Section
|Copyright by People's Daily Online, all rights reserved||| Mirror in U.S. | Mirror in Japan | Mirror in Edu-Net | Mirror in Tech-Net ||