For the young people of Gezhi High School in Shanghai it was a P.E. lesson they will never forget, as three of the world’s greatest Olympians came to the school to put them through their paces.
Laureus World Sports Academy Members Edwin Moses and Alexey Nemov and Laureus Award winner Liu Xiang were making the visit to the school in Huangpu, while they were in Shanghai for the announcement that the Laureus World Sports Awards would be held in the city in 2015.
Edwin Moses, who won two Olympic 400 metres hurdles gold medals in 1976 and 1984 and is Chairman of the Laureus World Sports Academy, said: “Many people think Laureus is mainly about the Awards Ceremony which we hold each year, but for Academy Members, like myself and Alexey, the most important work we do is with young people through the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation and our visit to the school was really emotional. I enjoyed teaming up with Liu Xiang, who of course is a great 110 metres hurdler, to talk to the students and give them some coaching.”
Liu Xiang, who won the Olympic gold medal in 2004, the first in a men's track and field event for China, said: "This is so exciting and so rewarding for me to join the legendary hurler Edwin Moses at the Gezhi School and to talk to the students there. I hope we were able to inspire them and encourage them to have their dreams. I tried to tell them if you work hard enough, you can achieve anything, I am so pleased to see Laureus is committed to expanding its activities to help young people in my own country. I was so happy to be there and give the children and the staff at the school my support."
While Edwin Moses and Liu Xiang were running their coaching session, Russian sporting legend Alexey Nemov, the winner of 12 Olympic medals in a brilliant career, was giving a gymnastics master class to other students at the school.
He said: “I really enjoyed the visit and meeting the young sportsmen and women. As Laureus becomes more involved in China, we are looking ahead to building more relationships and creating sustainable community projects here that will be able to carry our message that sport has the power to change the world.”
Gezhi High School was established in 1874 and is one of the first ‘experimental model high schools’ of Shanghai. The school provides basketball, badminton, billiards, table tennis, yoga, fencing and shooting courses, which the students can select.