Badmintoner Channels NBA Styles
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."
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."
August 17, 2008; 1:29 PM ET
Categories: NBA , NFL , Olympics
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