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Badmintoner Channels NBA Styles

Chinese Olympian puts "Face of Adversity" tattoo on his back.

There's a well-documented tradition of NBA and NFL stars getting Chinese characters tattooed on their body parts, with comical results. Shawn "The Matrix" Marion is the unrivaled star of the genre; his Chinese characters apparently mean not "The Matrix" but "Demon Bird Moth Balls," according to the blog Hanzi Smatter, which grew famous by chronicling such mishaps.

See also Marquis Daniels, middle initial "A," whose Chinese tattoo was supposed to represent his initials but instead apparently means "Healthy Woman Roof."

New Mike Sellers tattoo.

The stories are legion. Former Wiz guard Larry Hughes memorably went with a Chinese tattoo because he "didn't want words." Dolphins defensive end has Chinese gibberish on his arm, and I recently talked with Redskins fullback Mike Sellers, who couldn't even remember exactly what language his "strength, honor, discipline, loyalty" tat was in. ("Japanese or Chinese, one of them, I don't know," he said.) Read more on the botched Chinese tattoo phenomenon here.

But now it's the Olympics, and we're in China, and maybe someone will have to start a blog chronicling the odd English tattoos favored by Asian athletes. Because, honestly, it doesn't make much sense to have "Face of Adversity" tattooed on one's back.

This is famous accordionist and Olympic badminton doubles player Cai Yun, who ripped off his shirt to reveal new his tattoo after a semifinal win.

"The tattoo looks quite pretty, but if it is in Chinese characters, it will be easier for us to understand," his coach joked. Especially if he had chosen the Chinese characters for "Back of Adversity."


By Dan Steinberg  |  August 17, 2008; 1:29 PM ET
Categories:  NBA , NFL , Olympics  
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at least the badminton player's tattoo kinda makes sense. the nbaers and nflers make zero sense at all but it exposes them as the complete morons that they are.

Posted by: Charles Zimbabwe | August 17, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

When I think of adversity, the first thing that comes to my mind is badminton.

Posted by: Oh yes | August 17, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse

What advertisity does a badminton player face?

Posted by: | August 18, 2008 12:28 AM | Report abuse

Check out, though they don't seem to have a section for tattoos.

Posted by: C.K. | August 18, 2008 2:35 AM | Report abuse

Badminton is really good for adversity.

Posted by: JJ | August 18, 2008 7:47 AM | Report abuse

Shuttlecocks traveling at 200 mph directly at you?

...What? Everyone else was doing it.

Posted by: B.A. | August 18, 2008 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Wow, badminton is the dumbest "sport ever"... and it this guy pulling off his shirt helps in the way that beating someone at patty-cake and then doing a touchdown celebration makes you look oh so less stupid.

Posted by: Joshua | August 18, 2008 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Hey Joshua, you try playing badminton one day in an asian country or against an asian and then talk. In some asian cultures, badminton is like the equivalent of baseball or football in america in terms of popularity. Your ignorance makes you look oh so less stupid. So does putting "sport ever" in quotations.

Posted by: TH@! | August 19, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

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