Yao’s Last Olympic Games?

by Marcel Mutoni

It appears as though Yao Ming has had his fill of the Olympics. China’s most recognizable (and therefore, marketable) athlete says the Beijing Games will be the last of his career.

The soon-to-be 28 year-old center spoke to reporters while preparing for what he believes to be his final go-around at this event. From the Houston Chronicle:

Yao said he would like this to be his final Olympic appearance.

“It will be my third,” he said. “I was a very young player and got my first taste of the Olympics in 2000 at Sydney. I played in Athens in 2004 and now this is my home country and the highest special honor in 2008. Enough, I think. Why would I need to play in London in 2012?”

Yao has every right to be feeling Olympic fatigue, and no one can reasonably make the argument that he hasn’t done enough to represent his country. More to the point, he’ll be almost 32 years old when the London Games take place.

Something, though, tells me the über-powerful Chinese Government doesn’t necessarily share in Yao’s belief that this will be his last appearance on the international stage. Something to definitely keep an eye on.