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chancelucky

You know it wasn't that long ago that the notion of Chinese athletes in a number of sports seemed preposterous.

There was CK Yang who got a silver medal in the Decathlon in 1960 but the possibility of world class Chinese basketball players or swimmers seemed highly unlikely when I was a kid.

I know that Indian tv has added this time-limited cricket thing and it now draws tv audiences much larger than the World Series audience in the US. I suspect will be seeing more Indian athletes in the near future. After all, Cleveland has a whole baseball team of them :}.

Atul

You make a good point CL. The big difference is that China has the Communist government and people's intense loyalty to the country to succeed. India can't pull it off the same way even with economic success. From what I hear, there's too much corruption, so the kid from the family with connections, (not the most capable one), gets access to sports training.

Funny you mention the Indians. When I was 5, I went to an Indians game and I was all confused by the fact that the players didn't look Indian. True story.

Age

The Chinese culture seems to have taken on an obsession over winning medals. Some of these athletes were plucked out of their families at such an early age and have given up everything to represent their country. Liu Xiang, the 2004 gold medalist in the 110 hurdles ended up getting injured and was unable to run. Chinese fans were bawling and it seems like the entire country was crushed.

The athletes consider it such an honor to represent their country, but they have an overwhelming amount of pressure from the fans and the government. Hopefully, India as well as other countries can increase their sports representation without taking it to the extreme like China.

Atul

Age,

Thanks for the comment and sorry for the delay. You're right about the obsession. So far, it's working, but being on the home field doesn't hurt them either. Disappointment is taken hard though. Sadly, the spirit of the Olympics gets lost in competitiveness.

For other countries to compete, they need good recruitment, funding and access to facilities. All three are hard for some countries to put together.

By the way, I like your blog will try to stop by once in a while.

Laura Phalen

Happy Birthday. Enjoy yourself. 37 is not old, so don't commiserate. Be grateful you have lived that many years. I hope for plenty more for you and me.

Atul

Hi Laura,

Thanks for the happy birthday wishes. You put your comment on a different post but that's OK. I found it. Yes, here's to many more birthdays for both of us.

Atul

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