While Canadians wait impatiently to see just one of our athletes get on a podium in Beijing, the host nation is very familiar with hearing their national anthem played in the Olympic venues – even for sports where China has not traditionally been strong and wins weren’t predicted or even expected by the athletes themselves. Bloomberg News details some of these surprising long shots that have come up golden for China:
“China was tied with the U.S. at 14 gold medals at the end of the sixth day in Athens and finished four gold medals behind, with 32. The Chinese have reached 22 golds three days earlier than in 2004.
All around, there are tales of overachievement.
A 19-year-old named Liu Zige won only her country’s third swimming gold since 1992 while competing for the first time at an international meet yesterday. With a resume amounting to two national championships, she sliced more than a second off the world record, and said she was spurred on by a raucous crowd.
“I never expected I could be this fast and it’s a surprise that I can score gold,” Liu told reporters at the Water Cube pool yesterday. ”
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