Monday, 6 June 2011

Li Na wins French Open and June 4th

Li Na's victory

Li Na has become the first Chinese player to have ever win the Grand Slam title at the French Open, that's Chinese by nationality but if you're talking about Chinese by ethnicity the legendary Michael Chang who's American was actually the first to win 22 years ago.

Also falling on the same date was the Tienanmen Square commemoration on June the 4th. The event took place in Hong Kong as usual, which is the only place in China where the where people can still openly commemorate the incident.

The sad incident happened 22 years ago just the day before Michael Chang has won at the Grand Slam in 1989. Which had he made this statement:

"A lot of people forget that Tiananmen Square was going on. The crackdown that happened was on the middle Sunday at the French Open, so if I was not practicing or playing a match, I was glued to the television, watching the events unfold...I often tell people I think it was God's purpose for me to be able to win the French Open the way it was won because I was able to put a smile on Chinese people's faces around the world at a time when there wasn't much to smile about."

However in contrast Li Na's victory would mark 4th of June to be a day of celebration by many proud Chinese. There's still a long way away before the Chinese government to be open about what happened in Tienanmen Square 22 years ago. With the crackdown and arrests of dissidents in recent months such as artist Ai Wei Wei seems like progress has been awfully slow. But we shouldn't put the two events together. Mind you I just did. On a positive note it's always welcoming to see more Chinese sportsman (or sportswoman) competing on an international level.

Candlelight vigil in Hong Kong

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