Hurdler Liu Xiang made fun of in ad for sexual dysfunction
Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang, the nation’s sports darling after snatching a gold medal in the 2004 Athens Summer Olympics, has become the target of ridicule and a protagonist of a cautionary tale in an advertisement for premature ejaculation treatment.
The photo of this advertisement in print has been viral on Chinese social media, including Sina Weibo, a microblogging service that boasts 250 million users. In the advertisement, a dejected Liu Xiang can be seen sitting on the track inside London Bowl, the main venue for the 2012 London Games, apparently suffering from an injured leg.
The ad screams in bold, large fonts, “He fell right after the start! PE, a pain that men are too embarrassed to talk about!” A tiny line of lettering under the loud statement says, “Huifen European-style NT penile dorsal nerves minimally invasive surgery. Within only a quarter of an hour, your sex life can be prolonged by 15 minutes.”
Liu Xiang tumbled over the first hurdle back in August in the men’s 110 m final in London, and only finished the race by hobbling on one leg. In 2008, he withdrew from the final at the last moment in Beijing Olympics, citing concerns over the aggravation of his injury. His two Olympic appearances sans any medal have become a national letdown, leading to speculations that his fall was staged, as a graceful exit for a competition he could not win, without losing commercial endorsements and sponsorships.
Photograph: Daniel Ochoa De Olza/AP
Even though the sex ad is secondary to none in its cheesiness, which has clearly violated some law, it is not the first time Liu Xiang is teased about his failure and fall. Ever since the London Games, several property developers in China ran ads in newspapers that draw some interesting and yet far-fetched analogy between Liu Xiang and China’s property market bubble.
“Not until this Olympic Games will you realize that, your body and the home prices were at their best in the ‘08.”
“Not buying a home when it’s still cheap,
Is like quitting at the height of your career.”
“Buying a home should be done at one ‘stride’. Other wise, you might get ‘really hurt’.”
Last but not least, a cautionary banner in Harbin, northeast China, which warns people not to cross over the fence to the other side of the street, was spot-on on the Liu Xiang incident. The Weibo users were all cheering the witty slogan.
“Being Liu Xiang is not easy! Hurdling makes (you) injury-prone!”