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Chinese pianist Lang Lang: ‘The spirit of the Olympics encourages me’

By Zhang Tianrui (People's Daily Online)    16:42, August 18, 2016

Lang Lang watched the men's badminton quarter final

During the third set of the men's badminton quarter final between Chinese player Lin Dan and Indian player Kidambi Srikanth, Chinese pianist Lang Lang rushed into the stadium just in time to witness Lin's victory.

Lang arrived in Brazil on the evening of Aug. 16. Early in the morning on Aug. 17, he spent two hours watching the badminton semifinals. He was not able to watch the women's volleyball semifinal between China and Netherlands as he had a concert to give. However, he plans to watch the Chinese team train.

The famous Chinese pianist explained that the Olympic Games have had a huge influence on him. In 1992, he ran into some difficulties playing piano; the reason he was able to overcome them is that he took inspiration from watching Olympic table tennis and swimming matches. The spirit of China's athletes attracted and encouraged him.

Talking about Tuesday's badminton match, Lang said he arrived midway through due to heavy traffic.

Lang's friend Lin Dan in the match

"I was so nervous at that moment. I was running to the stadium while looking apprehensively at updates on my phone. 'Hold on, my friend,' I whispered to myself. When I arrived, [Lin] pulled ahead. I hope the final match will not be quite so stressful!" Lang exclaimed.

The victory of China's women's volleyball team also excited Lang.

"I was very lucky, as I saw their victory the moment I arrived at the hotel. Our team ranked fourth in Group B and the Brazilian team ranked first in Group A. Playing against the Olympic host must already be challenging anyway. In fact, I was anxious just thinking about it."

Lang said he practically considers volleyball head coach Lang Ping his aunt, since they share a surname. He sent a celebratory message to Lang Ping after the victory.

Lang Ping and Lang Lang

Although Lang feels sorry that Chinese athletes haven't earned as many medals as were hoped for at the Rio Games, he still believes that these athletes are the pride of China, as they spared no effort in competing. Lang explained that the perspective of many Chinese people has changed, and that winning gold medals is not the only way for athletes to prove themselves.

"We Chinese are more confident than ever before," Lang said.

During the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Lang gave a piano performance. He was also a torchbearer for the Beijing, London and Rio Games.

Lang said that he plans to visit music schools in Rio's slums and perhaps play the famous song "Girl from Ipanema" with the local children. In addition, he will give a concert at Corcovado.

Lang as a torchbearer for Rio Olympic Games

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor: Zhang Tianrui,Bianji)

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