Originally written on Fox Sports  |  Last updated 10/6/14

BEIJING - MAY 26: China's Olympic champion 110-meter hurdler Liu Xiang takes part in a training session at the National Training Center of China General Administration of Sport May 26, 2008 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Andrew Wong/Getty Images)
Seven steps, five more than in Beijing. But the outcome was identical: Liu Xiang's Olympics were over, yet again, before they really began. The magic ingredient that makes the games such compelling drama isn't the stadiums or the crowds. It is their rarity. Once every four years - a gap long enough to make or break athletes. Peak and attain perfection at just the right time and their names will live in Olympic history books forever. Make the slightest mistake or get hurt when that Olympic window opens once every four years and they might never get another chance to make it right. The opportunities for redemption are so few. For some athletes, they never come. That rarity is what makes Olympic success so sweet, Olympic failure so bitter and it is why we and why athletes, for as long as they can, keep coming back for more. Liu - the hurdler as famous and loved by Chinese as David Beckham is in England and Michael Jordan in the United States - tasted the sweetness once and, now, th...
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