Yao Ming
Yao Ming Reuters

Leaders, guests, and friends from news media, good afternoon, and thanks for coming.

At the end of last year I broke my left foot for a third time. I had to leave the basketball court, and spent the last half of the year waiting, just as many of those who care about me. During that period, I struggled a lot in my heart and thought a lot. Now I am going to announce a personal decision: I am going to end my career as a basketball player and officially retire.

Looking back on the past and right into the future, I am deeply grateful.

First I'd like to thank basketball. This great sport has brought joys to so many people, including me. I had my first basketball when I was four. I entered the Sports School of Xuhui District of Shanghai when I was nine and entered the Shanghai Basketball Youth Team at 14. At 16, I began playing for Shanghai Basketball Team, wearing my father's number.

I inherited my family's tradition by playing basketball. I feel so proud every time I look into the eyes of my parents, who are proud of me.

I feel very honored to have the opportunity to win the CBA title in 2002 with Shanghai Shark teammates, which has linked us all to this city behind.

Basketball also led me on a greater stage when I entered NBA that year. I could play with all I had.

What's more, I feel thankful that I had the opportunity to fight together with the national team for 10 years, which is many young players' dream, and through which I got to know and married my beloved woman, and made a happy family and obtained the happiness of my life.

All of these are brought by my love, basketball. I want to thank basketball.

I would also like to thank life. No matter my favorite basketball or something else, they are all parts of the life. Life is like a guide. When you sincerely follow it, it will open one and another door for you and the world outside of them is so different and exciting. Today, I retired. The door of basketball is closed, but another door has just opened which will lead me to a new life waiting for me to experience.

I will continue to participate in social welfare in the future. Yao Fund is my personal fund, which has been established for three years. And in the coming future, I will take this as the basis and call on more people to get involved in charity and help more people. And at the same time, I wish to know more friends here and to do some things together with you.

I believe the exchanges with all of you will teach me more things that will also enrich my life and help me to start from Shanghai to the whole country, from China to the whole world, so I thank life. And in the coming future, to take it seriously will be the best reward to life.

At last, I want to thank my family and all my friends. I have a very long name list here, but for time limit, I can only mention some of you, please forgive me.