Countdown starts in Beijing
It's just two weeks until Beijing, China, becomes the focus of the sporting world.
Sports stars don’t come bigger than this man and all simply because he is seven-foot-six. Yao Ming is the symbol of China’s lofty Olympic ambitions, and in a country now /is/ searching for new heroes. You might say that Yao is far bigger than Mao.
Yao Ming is the first of a(n) new breed, an international icon from a communism nation where individual success has never been so richly rewarded.
He is every inch made in China-the child of two basketball players whose union was encouraged by the government. He is adored by millions and playing in America. He earns millions. Now it is time to give his country something back.
How much pressure do you feel that you and /an/other Chinese athletes are under to deliver success? It’s a big challenge. We have huge pressure and possible glory. One can’t come without the other. I will try to enjoy it.
Shi Qingyu is only four but knows the same pressures. Hours each week she spent in training. Hours that would become years. Success would mean a childhood sacrifice but the reward---an escape from this that backbreaking life. Her family have known for generations.
Life here is very tough, her step-father tells me. If she can be a champion, it'll change everything for us.
Late at night in the remote mountain village, Qingyu and her team entertain the locals. The Olympics are uniting a diverse nation. But they have separated this mother from her daughter. Since Xiao Sha left to join the national squad, there have been nine years of newspaper cuttings but barely any personal contact.
I feel sorry that I couldn’t give her a mother’s love but I believe she is doing the right thing. She is winning /the/ glory for the country.
Shi Qingyu’s quest for Olympics glory is a decade away. Yao Ming starts in two weeks and the nation expects big things.
John Ray, ITV News, China.
Shi Qingyu 才四岁，但是她也感受到了同样的压力。她每周要花费几小时的时间来训练。每周几个小时，可能要坚持几年。成功意味着要牺牲掉童年的美好时光，但是回报是——摆脱掉累人的生活。这是她的家人世世代代都知道的。
晚上晚些时候，在这个偏远的小山村里，Qingyu和其他队员与当地民众一起娱乐。奥林匹克把不同民族的人团结在一起，但是也让母女分离。自从Xiao Sha 离开家人参加国家队以后已经9年了，但是一直没有跟家里见面。