Africa · China · Sports

China’s sports machine* at it again

The Paralympics are going on right now, and it’s very noteworthy that China is leading the medals table, similar to its performance in the Olympics where it ended up second. This time, it’s leading by a very huge margin, which isn’t likely to be passed. I’m not claiming to be a big sports fan of the Paralympics, but I definitely support having these kinds of events. I especially think it’s cool that the mainland has put in a lot of effort into sending athletes to these games, following on from the  2008 Paralympics when they topped the medal table on home soil and 2004.  China’s strong participation and success in these Paralympics is a warm story that stands in stark contrast to all the media portrayals about China as this obsessed sporting power that thoroughly abuses its athletes (though a lot of the training is indeed very vigorous). Instead, China is indeed so obsessed about sports success that it sent almost 300 athletes of varying disabilities to London to give them the chance to realize their dreams and compete on an international stage.

There’s been some inspiring and some sad stories about the athletes, some who are survivors of terrorist bombings and some who are war veterans or war victims and lost limbs or other physical abilities in battle. At least this British paper also noted China’s consistent performances in both the Olympics and Paralympics, and gives them top place on their hypothetical “How Caring You Are As A Nation index”. It contrasts China with the US whose Paralympic success has been far less than its Olympic success.

On a side note, it’s nice to see Hong Kong midway in the medal table with 10 medals, which is 10 times what they got in the Summer Olympics that just concluded.

* Meant in a semi-ironic way.


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