Speed skating - Hungary's Liu hopes to wave two flags on the short track

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Short Track Speed Skating Events - Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Men's 5000m Relay Final - Gangneung Ice Arena - Gangneung, South Korea - February 22, 2018 - Gold medallist Sandor Liu Shaolin of Hungary reacts near silver medallist Han Tianyu of China. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj/File Photo

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BEIJING, Feb 1 (Reuters) - The International Olympic Committee has strict rules on flags but it is unlikely to raise an eyebrow if Liu Shaolin waves a special banner at the Beijing Games.

The short track speed skater, who has a Hungarian mother and a Chinese father, competes for the European country but his heart is in both places.

"My mum stitched two flags together - the Hungarian flag and the Chinese flag," Liu, who won the men's 5,000-metre relay with his brother Shaoang at the Pyeongchang Olympics, said.

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"That is why it is going to be so special if I win and I can wave it in Beijing.

"I want to win not only for the Hungarian people and not only for myself, I want to win for the Chinese people as well. I am 50/50. If I get any medal, 50% is for China and 50% is for Hungary."

Shaolin and Shaoang were already well known in Hungary, but after their 2018 title, they also became public figures in China, where they trained for long periods of time when they were young.

They, therefore, hope to receive some support from the locals in Beijing.

"Hopefully, even if there are Chinese skaters, they will cheer for us the same way they'd be cheering for Chinese skaters. We love our Chinese fans," Shaoang said.

The men's 5,000-metre relay event starts on Feb. 11, with the final being scheduled for Feb. 16.

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Editing by Jacqueline Wong

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