World champion Liu Xiang donates apartment to Special Olympics

World and Olympic hurdles champion Liu Xiang on Friday donated an apartment he won as a race prize to the Special Olympics, whose summer games will be held this year in his home town of Shanghai.

Liu, the 110-meter hurdles world record holder, donated the apartment in the northeastern city of Harbin through the Shanghai Charity Foundation, with proceeds from its sale going to the Special Olympics.

Liu won the apartment from property company Shimao Group valued at 800,000 yuan (US$102,000;Ђ78,500) for being awarded the Most Valuable Athlete prize at last year's Gold Grand Prix meet in Shanghai.

Liu, the 2004 Olympic champion, who set his world mark of 12.88 seconds last year, is an official spokesman for the Special Olympics. He is currently undergoing winter training at his base in the Shanghai suburb of Xinzhuang.

Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, sister of former U.S. president John F. Kennedy, the Special Olympics provide people with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to compete in Olympic-style competitions, reports AP.

The Shanghai Games are expected to attract 20,000-30,000 athletes, coaches, family members and supporters from 170 countries. It is being held less than one year before Beijing hosts the Summer Olympic Games.

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