Gold and nothing less

Post date: 26-Nov-2010 12:24:12

China's tiny athletes: Pressured to perform


China's domination in the Asian Games is an indication on how strong the grassroots of the nation's sporting culture actually is.


The clinical precision with which Chinese chase their goals was evident when they hosted the Olympics in 2008 at Beijing. They weren’t content with a spectacular show. They wanted to win, and they did, trouncing the US to top the medals tally.


However, China's relentless drive for medals has not helped develop sports on a mass level. The reality is that China's stringent policy of selecting only the athletes with the best physical and mental prowess is leaving many out of the honour of representing the nation. What a shame for a sporting superpower.


Sport is a serious business in China. There are more than 300 elite, and controversial, government-funded academies devoted to training the next generation of Chinese athletes, starting at the age of four.


Tiny athletes are made to do shockingly strenuous exercises, more than what they bodies can cope with. China's sports schools are simply designed to produce gold medallists, regardless of the human cost. And a silver medal is regarded as a failure!


A Chinese sports lecturer says, “The Chinese are too serious. They think the sky will collapse if they lose.”


No parent would like to see their child go through hell, no matter how much they want them to be successful in sports.


What do you think?