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Eric Liddell

Eric LiddellEric Liddell (李愛銳, January 16, 1902 – February 21, 1945) became known as the 'Flying Scotsman' due to his sporting prowess. He won gold at the 1924 Paris Olympic games in the 400 metres event. He became immortalised in the award winning film 'Chariots of Fire' which tells the story of the British Olympic team at the 1924 games. He was also know for his rugby union games. He was born to Scottish parents who were living in Tianjin (天津), China, at the time. He was educated at Edinburgh University, graduating in 1924. The following year, 1925, he returned to China to work as a missionary; firstly in Tianjin where his parents had been then later in Shaochang (韶昌), in Yunnan Province of China's south western interior. Eric's Chinese name was Li Airui (李愛銳). In 1932 he was ordained as a minister of religion and in 1935 he married a Canadian named Florence Mackenzie. Together, they had three daughters, Patricia, Heather and Maureen. With the outbreak of war, he remained in China despite official advice form the British government to leave. However his children and pregnant wife left for Canada. The year 1943 saw the Japanese capture the Chinese city of Shaochang and Eric was imprisoned in a Japanese prison camp in Wéifāng City (潍坊). He died in this camp on February 21, 1945, of a brain tumour. His body was interred in a Mausoleum of Martyrs in Shíjiāzhuāng City (石家庄) in China.

Data Box

Name: Eric Liddell

Pinyin: Li Airui

Simplified Chinese: 李愛銳

Traditional Chinese: 埃里克利德尔

Date of Birth: 1902-01-16

Place of Birth: Tianjin, China

Date of Death: 1945-02-21

Place of Death: Weifang, Shandong, China

Other Alternative Names: Eric Liddell, Li Airui, 李愛銳

Short Description: Eric Liddell (January 16, 1902 – February 21, 1945) became known as the 'Flying Scotsman' due to his sporting prowess. He won gold at the 1924 Paris Olympic games in the 400 metres event. He became immortalised in the award winning film 'Chariots of Fire' which tells the story of the British Olympic team at the 1924 games.