(Is it fair to say that Xiang means as much to Chinese as Phelps does to America?) That's absolutely fair. In day to day conversations, Chinese would always bring up looking forward to Xiang. Basically what happened is he was injured long before today's race, with an Achilles injury and a hamstring injury. But there was a lot of pressure on him to compete and do well. But it was clear when you watched him that he was in pain. (What was his reaction?) His head was hung low, he was clearly beside himself. He was expected to easily win this gold medal. His coach was in tears, it was an emotional moment. Xiang was seen as a symbol of China's rise and its muscle in the Olympics and for him to walk away hit people hard here. (I know you were at a softball match between China and Taiwan. Must be hard to keep politics out of that match?) Yes, the Taiwanese fans were not allowed to show the Taiwanese flag and Taiwanese fans have complained in other events that they were being filmed by cops. The Taiwanese fans were quite vocal, and the Chinese fans were picking things up from them on how to cheer at a softball game. In the end, Taiwan won the softball game. But Chinese felt that China still won because Taiwan is still a part of China.

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