Zhang Jike probably has the most famous and influential supporter among the Chinese Team as the world-renowned Cristiano Ronaldo showed his support for the reigning world champion on his first Olympic expedition.
It has been common knowledge for us Table Tennis fans that Zhang Jike is also a fan of himself as he likes Cristiano Ronaldo. "Everyone feels that I am like him. Ronaldo can sometimes be independent but when in the arena, he is very domineering." Zhang Jike once said.
During the World Team Championships, while Zhang Jike was giving his efforts defending the championship title, Zhang Jike was also blessed with a warm present from his idol. It was just actually a short-sleeved jersey but what makes it one of a kind was Ronaldo's signature. The Spanish female Table Tennis player Shen Yanfei was very kind enough to bring the present from Spain.
During the Qatar Open last year, Zhang Jike came across his good friend Shen Yanfei and asked if he could get Cristiano Ronaldo's autographed shirt. At that time, Spanish representative Shen Yanfei did not give any assurance to be able to fulfill Zhang Jike's wish, after all Cristiano Ronaldo can be very busy.
Later, Shen Yanfei relayed the incident to the boss of Madrid Table Tennis Club. Immediately, the enthusiastic boss asked for the assistance of the National Team's management personnel. During a competition, the boss and the personnel rode with Cristiano Ronaldo on the same bus.
With that opportunity, they came to the football star with a shirt and said "world Table Tennis champion Zhang Jike wants your signature." Without any hesitation, Cristiano Ronaldo responded "Zhang Jike! I know him! I also want to play table tennis." Immediately, Ronaldo signed the shirt with his name and added the words: "My dear brother Zhang Jike"
After winning the Dortmund world championships, Shen Yanfei came to Zhang Jike and presented the gift that he was asking. Very eagerly, Zhang Jike expressed his happiness through posting it on Weibo. Because of this, Ma Long also got interested to inquire if he can also get an autograph from Casillas.
Zhang Jike was so moved by his idol's gesture that he was willingly wanted to repay. He took his Dortmund jerseys and wrote in Chinese "My dear brother C-Luo." Zhang Jike then gave the jerseys to Shen Yanfei and asked another favor of giving it to Cristiano Ronaldo. Since Shen Yanfei will be participating for the London Olympics as well, the T-shirt is expected to arrive in Ronaldo's hands after the Olympic Games.
It's interesting to know that the very person who is already very popular in his own right is also a fan of himself. Zhang Jike, just like many of his fans, surely know how it feels to be recognized by the one he idolizes. With Zhang Jike's gesture in the send off, he is indeed doing a good job to his fans.
Aside from seeing a different side of Zhang Jike, it is also interesting to know that whether in table tennis, football or basketball, and whether in Asia, Europe, or America, athletes' differences can be linked and the distance can be bridged, all because of the spirit of sports.
Zhang Jike for the 2012 London Olympics
Photo source: t.qq.com