Jet Li

Sushubh

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The last stop and climax of our U.S. tour was Washington, D.C., where a select few from our team performed our wushu routines on the White House lawn. After the performance, we were officially introduced to the American dignitaries and posed with them for official pictures. As I remember, President Richard Nixon stood with one of my female teammates, and I stood next to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. At one point, Nixon turned towards me and said, "Young man, your kung fu is very impressive! How about being my bodyguard when you grow up?"

"No, " I blurted out. "I don't want to protect any individual. When I grow up, I want to defend my one billion Chinese countrymen!"

People were stunned. There was an uncomfortable silence. Nobody had expected me to give that kind of an answer-least of all myself.

Kissinger was the one who finally broke the silence. "Heavens, such a young boy and he already speaks like a diplomat!"


life essay: part 7