Many sporting events were cancelled or postponed as well, including an Asian Football Club Champions League match between China's Changchun Yatai and Australia's Adelaide United FC. When play resumes in the gymnasiums and stadiums around China, hopefully sports can play the cathartic role that it has after major disasters in other countries.
The sporting world continues to pitch in on relief efforts in a variety of ways. Chengdu Stadium is serving as a temporary home for thousands displaced by the disaster. And some of China's past Olympians recently visited hard-hit areas in Sichuan, offering encouragement and relief goods to victims. Four-time Olympic gold medal-winning table tennis player Deng Yaping was among the group, and said to the AP, "Sports is really a good way to forget about the wounds of tragedy." And Yao Ming filmed a public service announcement for the Red Cross (below) that is airing during the NBA Playoffs.
Athletes, sports organizations and sports-related businesses are joining the stream of financial assistance as well. Earlier this week, after coming in third in the Huangshan Cup Snooker All-Star Game, Ding Junhui donated his 150,000 yuan (20,000 USD) game bonus to the earthquake relief efforts.
"I learned from TV that people in the quake-hit areas suffered a lot. Many parents died and left behind their children. I hope they will soon get well," Ding said to Xinhua News. "I hope all children can live their future happily and healthily."
The Sichuan sports administration reported yesterday that none of China's Sichuan-based professional athletes were injured in the quake.
Tags: Asian Football Club Champions League, Deng Yaping, Ding Junhui, snooker, Wenchuan earthquake