Chinese State Television Completely Scripted Its Overreaction To Popular Hurdler Liu Xiang's Collapse At The Olympics

China Liu Xiang hits hurdle

Photo: Screen shot via NBC Olympics

Remember China’s Liu Xiang completely collapsing at the first hurdle of a 110-meter heat during the Olympics before hopping around to “finish” it to a huge round of applause from spectators?Well, it was all fake.

Chinese state television (CCTV) knew Xiang was unfit to finish the race and set it up so that he would come out as this heroic figure embodying all that is good about the Olympics, according to a Chinese newspaper (via BBC).

Xiang came into the race with a significant injury, one Chinese broadcaster knew all about but neglected to tell viewers. The plan was to see what the end result would be, knowing full well it would probably be bad.

Instead of telling the truth, CCTV went with a better story: Xiang’s tragic collapse and triumphant determination to finish the race anyway should inspire all of China.

The broadcaster calling the race, Yang Jiang, was incredibly emotional when Xiang fell. He almost came to tears, prompting both BBC and NBC to replay his audio to show just how revered Xiang is throughout China.

Even more ridiculous is the fact that CCTV management “instructed their commentator to prepare four separate scripts to cover all eventualities.” The best one, of course, being what actually took place.

People in China have taken to Weibo, their version of Twitter, to lash out at the scripted commentary, according to the BBC.

As the image below shows, spectators couldn’t believe Xiang’s fall. Now we know they shouldn’t have.

China Liu Xiang hits hurdle

Photo: Screen shot via NBC Olympics

(h/t USA Today)

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