OLYMPICS / Newsmaker

Tattoo in the style - Cai shows artistic side
By Tan Yingzi
China Daily/The Olympian Staff Writer
Updated: 2008-08-17 09:41


Talented Chinese men's doubles player Cai Yun is famous for his excellent accordion skills, which he says helps him improve his exquisite techniques over the net, now the romantic young man from Suzhou shows off his unique artistic taste with an English tattoo on his back, which he says helps him remind keep confident and cool in tough games.

When Cai took off his jersey to celebrate the victory in the men's doubles semifinals, the historic breakthrough for China at the Olympics, people were amazed by the beautiful tattoo on his back.

"It says Face of Adversity," he explained to the reporters afterwards who were first confused by the English letters in curlicue.

China's shuttler Cai Yun shows off an English tattoo (Face of Adversity) on his back after beating Jae Jin and Hwang Ji Man of South Korea with Fu Haifeng in men's doubles semifinals August 16 2008. [Agencies]

"It took me three hours to finish the whole piece. It really hurt a lot."

Suffering a series of ups and downs at some major tournaments since last year, Cai made the decision to get a tattoo soon after he came back from the Thomas Cup in February, where he and his partner Fu Haifeng lost to South Korea in the final.

"It is a life-long reminder and encouragement for me. I hope I can keep cool and overcome all the difficulties."

The national head coach Li Yongbo agreed that the tattoo was a positive psychological hint for the player.

"It can remind the young pair always keep a strong metal frame. And they really did it today," Li said after the pair reached yesterday's final.

"The tattoo looks quite pretty, but if it is in Chinese characters, it will be easier for us to understand," he joked.

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