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The Reality of a Soviet-style Sports System

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China has been known for their medal winning athletes and Olympic success throughout history. This large communistic country carries with it a reputation of being harsh on its athletes and it begs the question, what exactly have they done to become one of the most athletically successful countries in the world and just how far will they go? “China’s methods would not be allowed elsewhere”(11) says British athlete, Joanna Parker. Although they often take home the gold at the Olympics, they have a very Soviet style sports system which involves harsh training where children are recruited at early ages and taken from their homes. Despite China’s success, the sports system has a negative impact on the athletes’ lives before, during and after their careers, because of intense training regimens that sometimes lead to health issues, lack of focus on education, isolation and pressure placed on athletes by the coaches and government. Until recent years, China actually had a rocky Olympic history. They rarely won medals and were often behind in the overall medal count. However, in the 1980’s, after decades of humiliating defeat by the Americans, China adopted their controversial sports training system(Bletchly); They have climbed up the ladder and have become one of the top countries due to the intense training regimens their athletes must undergo. In past Olympics, China has always put pressure on its athletes to win, but they were never quite good enough overall; There were some sports where its athletes excelled and others such as rowing which needed significant improvement. For the past thirty years or so, China has been working to improve its athletic performance and bring home glory. Glory: High renown, honor, or praise given to som... ... middle of paper ... ...Apr. 2014. 12. Price, S. L. "Faster, Stronger, Richer." Sports Illustrated 109.8 (2008): 172. MAS Complete. Web. 5 May 2014. 13. Smith, Michael D. "Project 119 Didn't Work Despite China's Gold Lead." - The New York Sun. - The New York Sun, 22 Aug. 2008. Web. 13 Apr. 2014. 14. Sosinsky-Semikhat, Yuri. "China's Olympic Triumphs Based On Terrible Pain." Web log post.English Pravda.ru. N.p., 8 Mar. 2012. Web. 06 Apr. 2014. 15. By TALEK HARRIS in Hong, Kong. "China Giant `Bred To Win'." Northern Territory News (Includes Sunday Territorian) (n.d.): Newspaper Source Plus. Web. 14 Apr. 2014. 16. The Week Staff. "China's Olympics Training Program: Abusive?" The Week. The Week, 2 Aug. 2012. Web. 06 Apr. 2014. 17. Yanping, Li, and Wing-Gar Cheng. "Olympic Dream Helps Chinese Kids Beat Pain in Drive for London." Bloomberg.com. Bloomberg, 24 Aug. 2008. Web. 14 Apr. 2014.
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