Peking is set to take part in next year's Olympics in Moscow-- if politics allow.?
Peking is set to take part in next year's Olympics in Moscow-- if politics allow. But regardless of the political arguments over China's participation, young athletes are vigorously training to put their country on the map of international sports.
SYNOPSIS: At the Peking Institute, several hundred Middle School graduates are admitted to various courses in practical and theoretical studies related to sport. There is no lack of applicants...sports in China are gathering the same kind of following as in other countries around the world. There are sporting heroes, but their names figure more in special sports publications than the general press. Peking's climate can be below freezing for a good part of the year, during those months the huge indoor stadiums are like giant bee hives.
China starts encouraging and developing talent among the very young. Children are not pushed into serious competition, but their early performance can grant them admission to special sports secondary schools.
The Chinese are proud of their gymnastic dancers, the Peking Opera is world famous and the coaches say that fulfilling the exercises together and in strict rhythm is good for the gymnasts physical development.
In table tennis, too, China has achieved world fame. Chinese athletes have been dominating this event for years, and the players--like many other athletes--enjoy special privileges. Their one great privilege is an unlimited supply of high protein foods--eggs, meat and fish, all strictly rationed for most other Chinese. Most of the athletes training institutions are linked with boarding schools, where the students live and study during the week.
The main drive now is to excel in the sports recognised for major international competitions, such as the Olympics. China sees gymnastic competitions as an arena where their athletes can quickly achieve world standards. And efforts there have already paid off with several gymnastics medals at the last Asian games.
Swimming is traditionally not very popular in China, but since the late Chairman Mao led a campaign to teach the masses to swim, the state has put special emphasis on this sport. This pool, the swimmers bathing costumes and their livelihoods have all been provided for by the government.
Under the shadow of Mao Zedong, China remained along from world competition. Even now, there is no striving for individual glory, just a mutual dedication to achieving excellence on behalf of the chinese people. And this first new generation of sportsmen will do their best to put China on the map of international sports.