|Ronnie O'Sullivan and his son (Xinhua/Wang Lili)|
Related: Ronnie O'Sullivan to meet '9-ball pool queen' in China
Beijing, Dec.25 (People's Daily Online) – Ronnie O'Sullivan, the English snooker champion, will be playing in an exhibition game with Chinese female professional pool player Pan Xiaoting, dubbed 'the nine-ball pool queen', in Yanzhou, Jining City, in east China's Shandong Province, on Dec. 28 2013.
The following is an excerpt from People's Daily Online's written interview with O'Sullivan before his China trip. You can find out what you don't know about this man, and his views on snooker, life, family, and the future.
PD Online: You said you were going to retire after the World Snooker Championship this year when you had finished your Semi-final. However, you changed your mind when you won the title. You explained that you could not make up your mind because things were always changing, and you might have a clearer idea by December or next January. So, have you made your decision on your retirement from snooker?
Ronnie O'Sullivan: I am sure it won't be long. I am just weighing up my opportunities to make a smooth transition. I will always want to be involved in snooker as I love it so much, and I will still play some tournaments, but I will decide which ones I want to play in.
PD Online: You have played snooker for so many years, and enjoyed great fame in the sport. Which game has impressed you most in your career?
Ronnie O'Sullivan: Winning the 2012 World Championship - it was awesome even if I say so myself! I surprised myself in that tournament. It was as if I had a wand in my hand - I loved it, I felt great and played like a magician.
PD Online: A fan once said that you were a professional player driven by passion, and if you lost that passion, you would no longer be the "Rocket". Another fan suggested you have two kids to support, so you will fight to win to earn a living for them even the passion is no longer there. What do you think about their comments?
Ronnie O'Sullivan: Very true! Both are correct. But I am a competitor even when there is no passion. I am still hungry like a tiger in the jungle - you have to support and protect your family and do things sometimes you don't want to do - that's life.
PD Online: People always praise and admire your snooker talent. You once said "I was never the most talented but I worked very hard." How do you rate your achievements? How much do you attribute to talent and how much to diligence? What does talent mean to you?
Ronnie O'Sullivan: 80% hard work and 20 % talent.
PD Online: You said that you were not a good son, nor a good boyfriend, but you were a good father. What do children mean to you? Would you encourage them to play snooker in the future? Snooker is a sport that demands high concentration; how do you balance your family responsibilities and your career?
Ronnie O'Sullivan: My children mean the world to me, I want them to be always happy - no to snooker, but yes to adrenalin sports - reactive sports not still ball sport like golf. But I would rather they play golf than snooker. I just get through it - you roll your sleeves up and become a warrior - I don't look at it as career development, I see it as a journey with many paths.
PD Online: You are regarded as a snooker legend. What is it about snooker that attracts you the most? You mentioned in your biography that sometimes you love snooker and sometimes you hate it. Generally speaking, what does snooker mean to you?
Ronnie O'Sullivan: In the early days I had lots of drive and ambition to win as many titles as possible, in particular the World Championship. Now I have achieved this, I find it difficult to want to play these days. I am not so hungry but I hate to lose. After all, I am a sportsman and which sportsman likes to lose? I don't.
PD Online: Imagine where will you will be and what will you do ten years from now?
Ronnie O'Sullivan: I will be happy maybe playing sport for fun and hopefully working more in China, as I enjoy and love the country very much.