Tuesday, 24 July 2012

China at the Olympics

It was in the year 1952 when flag of the People's Republic of China was raised for the first time in Olympic history at the Helsinki. They participated in only one event and couldn't manage any medal.  However, they din't paticipated till 1984 'cos of the dispute over the political status of China. Lets take a look at the medal tally of china in the olympics for last 5 years. 1992 Barcelona: China won 16 gold, 22 silver & 16 bronze and with a total of 54 medal they were at fourth position in the table. 1996 Atlanta: China won 16 gold, 22 silver & 12 bronze and with a total of 50 medal they were at fourth position in the table. 2000 Sydney: China won 28 gold, 16 silver & 14 bronze and with a total of 58 medal they were at third position in the table. 2004 Athens: China won 32 gold, 17 silver & 14 bronze and with a total of 63 medal they were at second position in the table. 2008 Beijing: China won 51 gold, 21 silver & 28 bronze and with a total of 100 medal they were at first position in the table. In only eight participation in the summer olympics they have managed a total of 385 medals that includes 163 gold, 117 silver & 105 bronze and is ranked at #7 in the all time Olympic games medal table.  The 2012 Olympics in London is scheduled to begin on 27th July and China is once again ready to dominate the medal table.  
But what's the truth behind this great performance? The children in China are scouted at a very tender age. They are tested to see if their bodies can withstand the demands of the sport. The majority of them don't make into it but those who are selected their training starts which is a life long process of becoming the best. At an age of 4 years they have to balance between a toilsome training schedule and a tough school routine and are allowed to meet their parents only at the weekends. This age is a lot earlier than when athletes from other countries start training and their training programmes also are  not as harsh as in China. However, not everyone from these sports training academy makes into the Olympics and win medals. They often suffer from unemployment and poverty. They can't do anything 'cos they have no skills. The over training also results in health problem at the later stage of life.  Isn't this a cruel behavior on children and should constitute as child abuse?

The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well. 

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