The First Chinese Olympian

This is Eric Liddell, the Scottish runner who inspired Chariots of Fire. My all-time favorite movie line (I think) comes when Liddell says
When I run, I feel God's pleasure.
Anyway, nice piece on him here. Liddell was born in China and lived there 'til he was five. Then he returned to Scotland to be educated.

He became a great athlete (cricket, rugby, and running), and participated in the Paris Olympics in 1924. But since the 100 meter race - in which he would have made his best time - was scheduled for a Sunday, he declined to participate, because of his strict and solid religious upbringing.

According to some witnesses, it seems that the king of England himself tried to convince him to compete, in the name of "national pride", but he declined because "the commandments of God come before national honor. I will not run on Sunday."

After the Olympics he earned a science degree and returned to China as a missionary. I was just a kid when Chariots of Fire was released --is this in the movie?

In 1941 he sent his wife and kids to Canada in fear of the Japanese, but he remained in China. He died in a Japanese prison camp.

Eric Liddell died on February 21, 1945. A few months earlier, prime minister Winston Churchill obtained the liberation of some of the prisoners, and the famous athlete should have been one of them, but he gave up his place to a pregnant prisoner.

His last words were: "It's complete surrender".

He's buried in the Mausoleum of the Martyrs in Shijiazhuang.