Yao Ming, Liu Xiang voice opinions at China's political advisory session
Updated: 2015-03-04 19:41
Former NBA player Yao Ming (left, third) and hurdler Liu Xiang (right, second) at the meeting. [Photo by Wei Xiaohao/ China Daily]
BEIJING - Former NBA star Yao Ming urged students to be good at one sport at least while former Olympic champion Liu Xiang called for retired athletes to join in China's budding sport industry.
Representatives from sport are given the floor to voice their opinions on how to build a better China at the annual political advisory meeting, usually held in March.
At this year's session of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), Yao set his sight on students' health and fitness.
The owner of the Chinese league club Shanghai Sharks believes that once a student truly gets to know a sport, he or she will at least be interested in it.
"This helps them keep the habit of physical exercises," said Yao on Wednesday. His proposal includes extending PE class hours nation-wide.
Compared to Yao, former Olympic 110m hurdles champion Liu Xiang cut a relatively low-key figure but his proposal hit the hot topic of sport industry.
He underlined service as one of the key points in the industry.
"Sport industry is not just sports gear manufacturing but of many things and service should be an important one," said the 31-year-old who still shows no sign of returning to the track after more than two years of rehab from an Achilles tendon surgery.
"Sport service industry is a specialized field and needs well-trained professionals," he said. "I hope retired athletes can join in it after studies and training."
Former Olympic and world gymnastic champion Zou Kai expressed his worries over the dwindling gymnastic population in China who boasts scores of Olympic and world champions.
"Right now we can do well in international competition but the sport in China has problems," said the 27-year-old.
"Fewer children practice gymnastics and same thing happens in weightlifting, wrestling and diving, all of which can hardly find their market like soccer and basketball," he said.
Yao, Liu and Zou are among 21 sport delegates at the third session of the CPPCC which opened Tuesday in Beijing.
A total of 2,153 members of the CPPCC National Committee, will discuss major issues concerning the country's development during the annual session.