China's Top Athletes Became A Beggar

A famous Chinese athletes were forced to become beggars in the streets of Beijing after an injury kept him racing. Zhang Shang Wu, thus the name of the athlete, won two gold medals at the Universiade gymnastics, Olympic games for students, in 2001. A year later he suffered a serious injury that ended his career as an athlete gymnastics.

Zhang Shang Wu

The low educational qualifications made can only be a waitress. He had worked in a nursing home but an injury prevented him doing those jobs. Demands of life forced him to steal and he was jailed for five years before free last April. Since then he was begging on the streets of Beijing.

Zhang's fortunes changed last week when a fan recognized him when he was showing off doing gymnastics movements. Since then, Zhang's story was published in various media in China. Many parties offered the job, including from one of the wealthiest businessmen in China.

"In China, many athletes end up like me. I was lucky because I found members of the community and my story was published in the media," Zhang told AFP news agency in Beijing on Monday (18 / 7), as reported by BBC Indonesia.

"There are many athletes who fared pathetic after retirement. Their education is low and they could not get a decent job," said Zhang, who is now aged 27. "The government does not help athletes who retire. I want my story opens the eyes of the public that these athletes need help," said Zhang.

He is not the first top athletes who have difficulty living. Cai Li, the gold medalist in weightlifting Asian Games in 1990 forced a security guard after no longer compete. He died in 2003 allegedly due to strenuous exercise he must follow when an athlete first.

Zou Chunlan, national champion weightlifter, a public toilet keeper before an NGO helped her open a laundry business.

Zhang Shangwu itself is not thinking about work because it is still busy serving a variety of media interviews. To be sure, he wants to help his fellow athletes after the tragic fate can not go to the field.