China's Liu Xiang bids tearful farewell

Added On May 19, 2015

Chinese star hurdler Liu Xiang has held a retirement ceremony in his hometown of Shanghai.
There, he has bid tearful farewell to his fans.
He's also honored by China State Sports Administration with the "Outstanding Contribution Award."
In a packed stadium in Shanghai, China's best-known track and field athlete bid farewell to his fans on Sunday night.
Liu Xiang, a Shanghai native, spoke before his adoring fans, struggling to hold back tears.
"I'm honored to be an athlete. Shanghai is my hometown and also the place where my track and field dream started. Today, I'm very happy to have an opportunity to say goodbye to all of you here. For the past over 10 years, hurdling has helped me achieve my dream and brought to me enormous joy and glory. At the same time, I have tried hard to do my best. There are always ups and downs in life. In good days, we should not forget where we started, while in bad days, we have to take the challenge and stick to the goal. It's true that not every dream can be turned into reality, but the journey in pursuit of it will be a valuable spiritual treasure in my life...Today, I'm standing here, with much reluctance in my heart to say goodbye to the track, the 10 hurdles, and most importantly, you, my friends who have cheered me on all the way along. Without you, without your love and support, my life would not have been so wonderful."
Liu announced his retirement last month.
He shot to fame when he won the 110m hurdles at the 2004 Athens Olympics, becoming China's first male Olympic champion in athletics.
But he was troubled by injuries, having to withdraw from the 2008 Beijing Games and then the 2012 London Olympics.
His farewell speech has touched the hearts of many.
"We're here to witness his retirement. He's a great athlete." 
SOUNDBITE (CHINESE): Fan of Liu Xiang 
"I left Shanghai two years ago. I came back today particularly for his retirement ceremony. It's worthwhile. I feel happy to be here to witness his farewell.