Li Na, the Chinese dark horse of tennis

Nike has created an empowering and gorgeous new ad campaign, featuring some of the strongest women athletes around the world. Among them is Li Na, the first Chinese tennis player – man or woman – to win a major international title. 

According to her Wikipedia page, Li Na’s career path is far from a straight path to stardom. She has left the Chinese national team twice, once in 2002 to complete a bachelor’s degree in Journalism, and the final time in 2008 as an act of independence from the state-run athletic program. In addition, 

Her career has been plagued by injuries and other troubles that have prevented her from playing for lengthy periods. She suffered a two-year hiatus from competition in her early 20s, lost several months at the height of the 2005 season to an ankle injury, and lost the second half of 2007 to a rib injury.

I find her story incredibly inspiring, and I do hope that Nike’s new ad campaign will do the same for millions of girls and women around the globe. 

* Campaign photos by Annie Leibovitz, another woman on top of her game. 
**  Nike also features Maria Sharapova, Hope Solo, Allyson Felix, Perri Shakes-Drayton, Sofia Boutella, and Laura Enever.

Li Na, the Chinese dark horse of tennis

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