Chaplin, then the track and field coach at Washington State, doesn't just speak, he revs like a race car. He talks in rapid-fire, multi-syllabic soliloquies.
Li Li, a coach at the Sichuan Sports Institute in Chengdu, and also a well-regarded 800-meter runner, was given the job.
"He spoke impeccable English," Chaplin said. "He spoke English better than most Americans."
And Li could keep pace, word-for-word, with Chaplin.
Li, now 47, became a United States citizen in 1998 and, as a tribute to the man who opened the door to this wonderful life, he asked Chaplin's permission to change his name to James Li (above/photo courtesy University of Arizona), in honor of Chaplin's oldest son James, who died in an automobile accident."