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Olympia: Mao on the podium

Zhong Tianshi and Bao Shanju at the medal ceremony. Next to the Chinese flag is the red and gold pin with Mao’s face.

As the Great Helmsman he was once chosen to be, China’s late founder Mao Zedong might have preferred a victory ceremony for the Chinese eight rowing. But as it was, track cycling sprinters Bao Shanju and Zhong Tianshi made his likeness their own after their gold triumph. At the medal ceremony on Monday, the two athletes had pinned a button to their chests which showed Mao’s likeness – small, but clearly visible up close.

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