Changing China

Giant on the move

Olympic luck – it’s a numbers game

August 16, 2008

radcliffeEight could be Michael Phelps’s lucky number if he can trump Mark Spitz’s Olympic haul of of seven golds at the 100m medley relay in Beijing on Sunday.

If so, he would have something in common with many host team athletes, who are big on the number 8 because in Chinese it sounds like a word for prosperity (fa). That’s why the Olympic Games opened on the 8th day of the 8th month at 8pm.

However, British marathoner Paula Radcliffe is counting on number 17 to banish memories  of her disastrous run in Athens and claim her first Olympic medal.  She was born on the 17th of the month, as was her grandmother and her daughter. According to a report in Britain’s Sunday Telegraph, the coincidence goes even further: her grandmother got engaged on a 17th and was married on a 17th too. 

Specially designed running shoes that Radcliffe will be wearing in the race on Sunday have 17 17 17 written vertically at the back.

And guess what the date will be? August 17.

PHOTO: British long distance runner Paula Radcliffe is interviewed in Beijing August 15, 2008. REUTERS/Gil Cohen Magen

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