Chairman Mao Zedong (front), surrounded by his bodyguards, swims in the Yangtze River on July 16,1966. Picture: AFP

Chairman Mao’s historic swim – glorified in China but ridiculed by the rest of the world

Fifty years ago, Mao Zedong’s ‘world-record-breaking’ swim in the Yangtze River signalled the return of the Great Helmsman. Other state leaders have since tried to use the sport as a demonstration of power, with varying results

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Chairman Mao Zedong (front), surrounded by his bodyguards, swims in the Yangtze River on July 16,1966. Picture: AFP
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Stuart Heaver

Stuart Heaver

Originally from Kent, England, former Naval officer and entrepreneur, Stuart Heaver is a full-time freelance writer and features journalist living and working in Hong Kong. He loves his job, the sea and his family but not necessarily in that order.