Eric Liddell was born in the Chinese municipality of Tianjin in 1902. He was the Scottish athlete who wouldn’t run on a Sunday. But ‘the Flying Scotsman’ went on to win a bronze and gold medal in the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris, France. His life has been documented in the Oscar-winning 1981 film, Chariots of Fire. Liddell was a missionary in China from 1925 until his death in 1945 in a Japanese civilian internment camp. Sadly, “in 1943 he was interned at Weifang and he died of a brain tumour just months before the end of World War II, at the age of 43,” writes BBC.
His legacy continues with an unofficial sequel, The Last Race starring British actor, Joseph Fiennes. It is “being filmed largely in China by a director from Hong Kong –Stephen Shin, who also wrote the script. The film, which is co-directed by Canadian Michael Parker, will depict Liddell’s work as a missionary in China after his victorious turn at the 1924 Paris Olympics.”
A monument has been revealed in China to honor his life. The statue was presented before Liddell’s two daughters and Joseph Fiennes. Liddell is a Chinese hero. His story is taught in schools and they hold his memory in high esteem.
“We are all missionaries. Wherever we go we either bring people nearer to Christ or we repel them from Christ.” ― Eric Liddell