Olympic hopeful who lost his legs in Tiananmen Square
Fang Zheng is an example much greater than the journalist internet fiasco of how China is not democratic and still an oppressive regime. It is not that long ago that the tanks rolled over Tianamen Square and the peaceful protestors that were there that day including Fang Zheng. Fang Zheng came back from horrific injuries to shine as a discus thrower only to be exiled from the Olympic team when he dared speak of how he actually lost his legs.
Fang Zheng is one Chinese sporting hero whose story will not be heralded at the Beijing Olympics. When the action starts, he will be watching from a wheelchair at his home in Hefei in Anhui province, one of China's poorest.
Fang's hopes of taking the field as a discus thrower in the Games were crushed, along with his legs, under a tank in Tiananmen Square on 4 June 1989.
His Olympic story is about politics, not sport. It was not so much the loss of his legs which cost him his career as an international athlete, as he competed very successfully in competitions for disabled athletes in the years after his injury.
It was the manner in which he became disabled, losing his legs during modern China's most serious political crisis, which ruled Fang out of international competition.