Ask a Chinese Olympics silver medalist


Dear Chinese Olympic silver medalist,

First of all, congratulations on your athletic achievements at this year’s Games. I’ve been stuck at Beijing airport for the last few weeks and not allowed to leave the country. Mr Bao, a former business associate in China, is suing the US company I used to work for, and I am being held responsible as the country’s ‘representative in Asia.’ I find myself in a complex legal limbo, in which I can neither negotiate any resolution on behalf of the corporation I no longer work for, nor seek legal permission to return home (as the judge in the civil case happens to be Mr Bao himself). Any inspiring thoughts to keep me strong?

Yours in anguish,
Gray Area

Chinese Olympic silver medalist says:

Silver? FML…

So. It’s finally all over. My career as an Olympic athlete, I mean. It is finished. The last few moments are a blur; I only recall standing next to a Brazilian (I don’t remember who got bronze).  After that, I vaguely remember speaking to my mother. “We’re so proud of you, daughter” she sobbed. The implication was clear: you have disgraced our country, and are no child of mine.

When Dad came on the phone, his voice was shaky – but there was no mistaking the subliminal undertones. Dad, you never were much of a liar! On  my return, I will seek a low-paying, unskilled job far away from home at the first possible moment.

The media pressure has been so intense, I have barely had time to weep continuously. On seeing this predicament, my beloved coach immediately hired a troupe of professional mourners to constantly remain outside my room. Their wailing and rending of clothes are the first thing that greet my ears as I awake from recurring nightmares about being chased around the track by a pork chop full of clenbuterol.  Would I be happy if I had won gold? Perhaps. On the other hand, the medal would have really belonged to China. That was in the training contract.

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