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80万元奖金难博李娜一笑

更新时间:2014-1-29 14:36:06 来源:华尔街日报中文网 作者:佚名

800,000 Yuan? Li Na Is Not Impressed
80万元奖金难博李娜一笑

Has anyone ever looked so unhappy to receive $132,000?

Chinese tennis hero and newly crowned Australian Open champion Li Na stepped off the plane in her home province of Hubei on Tuesday, three days after winning her second Grand Slam title, to find a delegation of provincial officials waiting for her with extended hands and a great big red check for 800,000 yuan.

A screenshot of Ms. Li holding the check and looking deeply unamused while standing next to Hubei Commist Party chief Li Hongzhong promptly went viral online, with social media users wondering why officials were giving taxpayer money to a woman who had no need for it and, based on her previous relationship with China's state sports system, almost certainly didn't want it.

'Li Na's expression says it all,' wrote one user of Sina Corp.'s Weibo microblogging service. 'This is the people's money. Li Na plays tennis well. She's a professional athlete who doesn't need the public to give her anything.'

In a comically honest victory speech Saturday described by some as the funniest in the history of major tennis events, Ms. Li nodded toward the wealth her success had brought her by thanking her agent, Max Eisenbud, first. 'Max, [my] agent, [you] make me rich, thanks a lot,' she said. Mr. Eisenbud secured endorsement contracts for Ms. Li worth at least $42 million following her victory at the French Open in 2011, and her win in Melbourne--in addition to earning her 2.65 million Australian dollars (US$2.3 million)-- looks set to add to her marketability.

Nor is China's most successful tennis player, who famously left the state sports system in 2008, particularly eager to be seen as an object of patriotic chest-thumping. Unlike other Chinese athletes, Ms. Li has conspicuously failed to thank the motherland in her victory speeches and has repeatedly said she represents only herself. As Foreign Policy noted on Monday, however, that hasn't stopped China for thanking itself on her behalf.

Ms. Li's success, said a Xinhua commentary citied by Foreign Policy's Liz Carter, 'would not have been possible without her time on the national team.'

Chinese tennis fans have largely rejected such arguments, instead lauding Ms. Li for achieving success on her own and directing their ire at Hubei officials for wasting money in an attempt to ride the athlete's coattails with public money.

Asked to comment about the cash controversy Tuesday, an official in the Hubei provincial propaganda office said he didn't know where the money had come from.

'Li Hongzhong tried to use taxpayer money to buy a smile. Alas, she didn't give it to him,' wrote one Weibo user.

有谁在获得13.2万美元时看上去这么不高兴么?

在夺得职业生涯中第二个“大满贯”三天后,中国网球名将、澳大利亚网球公开赛新科女单冠军李娜周二回到故乡湖北。在机场迎接李娜的不仅有湖北省官员的热情握手,还有人民币80万元的大红支票。

然而,一张李娜手持奖金支票与湖北省委书记李鸿忠的合影在网上引起热议,照片中的李娜看上去很是不悦。社交媒体的用户们都不明白为什么中国政府官员要把纳税人的钱发给一位根本不需要它的人,而且从李娜之前与中国体育体制的关系来看,几乎可以肯定李娜也不想要这笔奖金。

一位新浪(Sina Corp.)微博(Weibo)用户写道,李娜的表情说明了一切,这是人民的钱;李娜网球打得好,可她是职业运动员,不需要公众给她任何奖励。

李娜上周六发表的获胜感言既是实话,也不乏风趣,有人将此称为重大网球赛事历史上最有趣的获胜感言。李娜在发言时首先提到了成功给她带来的财富,并对她的经纪人马克思•艾森巴德(Max Eisenbud)表示了感谢。

李娜当时表示:我的经纪人马克思,是你让我变得富有,非常感谢。李娜2011年在法国网球公开赛夺冠后,艾森巴德为李娜争取到至少价值4,200万美元的代言合同。此次澳网夺冠不仅又为李娜带来265万澳元(约合230万美元)的奖金,势必也会提高李娜的商业价值。

这位中国最成功的网球运动员也并不是很愿意被人当作爱国青年的典型,她2008年退出国家网球体制的事件曾引起外界关注。与其他中国运动员不同,李娜明显没有在获胜感言中感谢祖国,而且多次表示她只代表自己。但就像杂志《外交政策》(Foreign Policy)周一的评论所言,这并未阻止中国借李娜获奖而自我表彰。

《外交政策》的卡特(Liz Carter)引述新华社的评论称,李娜的成功离不开在国家队的经历。

中国的网球爱好者大多不赞同这种说法。他们称赞李娜凭自己的努力取得了成功,同时也对湖北省官员滥用公共资金、借李娜的光环给自己脸上贴金的做法表示愤怒。

在被对问及给李娜发奖金所引发的争议时,湖北省宣传部门的一位官员周二表示,他不知道这笔钱是从哪来的。

一位微博用户写道,李鸿忠想用纳税人的钱买个笑脸,但李娜就是没给他笑脸。

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