Liu Xiang attends the 2018 Nike Kids Run in Shanghai on June 3, 2018.
Liu Xiang said he has become busier after retirement, giving much time to family and friends, but still follows track and field closely.
The former Olympic and world champion attended the 2018 Nike Kids Run on Sunday morning, joining some 3,000 children in the event held near Shanghai Children’s Art Theatre.
“I still follow sports, especially track and field very closely. After retirement, I still keep the habit of exercising, mostly in the gym. I regard it as a healthy lifestyle, which keeps you optimistic. I have to keep fit so as not to disappoint those who still keep an eye on me,” Liu joked.
Liu announced his retirement in April 2015 and has been studying in East China Normal University, majoring in sports management.
“Apart from study and charity activities, family has become a big part of my life after retirement. I also spend much time with friends. I feel busier than when I was an athlete.”
Luke Huang, 5, poses with his mother after finishing the 3km family run in Shanghai on June 3, 2018.
The kids run featured 2,000 runners aged from 10 to 12 in the 4.2-kilometer mini marathon. In the 3-kilometer family run, 1,000 runners aged from 5 to 9 were accompanied by their parents to complete the route.
“Children are given a wide range of choice in sports nowadays,” said Liu. “But running is the foundation of many other sports including football and basketball. It trains one’s willpower and patience. But most importantly, be happy when running.
“Family run is a very good running form for children, as they get the experience of facing challenges together with their parents, no matter they are winning or losing,” said the hurdler. “Children shall be guided and accompanied, as well as being taught how to face failure when doing sports, so that their interest and passion will be slowly cultivated.”