Born to Win

0 Comments 22 May 2015

By Jordan Beary
Staff Writer

Many people have the dream of becoming an Olympic medalist. The journey to get there is different in every country and there have been many controversies about whether or not children should be trained at a young age to compete in the Olympics. China is well known for their ruthless training of young children to compete for the gold medal. Many have wondered how Chinese competitors are so much stronger, faster and fitter, than their rivals.

The sport that this crucial technique is most commonly found is gymnastics. Children as young as the age of four train in the gym for up to eight hours a day, six days a week. While training techniques appear to be extreme to other eyes, it provides insight and explanation to why China is winning so many of these events. Parents of these promising athletes, some of whom are poor, are often given a home in their hometowns by the local sports department. Others just want a decent education for their children. Gymnastics is the main event where this occurs, but it isn’t the only sport. Figure Skating, Diving and also swimming are some of the sports that China excel in due to early training.

Chinese also excel in the following sports; canoeing, swimming, speed skating, American football, Badminton, Bandy, also known as Hockey, Baseball, Basketball, Boxing, Chess, Cricket, Curling, Figure skating, Football, Golf, Motor racing, Rugby Union, Snooker, also known as pool, Speed skating, Table tennis, also known as ping pong, Tennis, Volleyball and Weightlifting. Not all of those sports require training at such a young age but are all taken very seriously.

There has been an escalating amount of anger and disagreement these past years over the conditions of these children, who are forced to live and breathe their sport, many of whom are boarded at the training center away from their families. Although China is the most involved with training these kids early in their life, other countries such as Russia and European countries are in on the technique as well. Just like China, they take the kids at a young age and competitively train them at a sport. You have to be sixteen years of age to compete in the Olympics so clearly you need to start early, but is being forced at the age of four too early?

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