Do Chinese Athletes Cheat at the Olympics?
Ye Shiwen gold medal times have been faster than any of the men's times in this years Summer Olympics. She is only 16 years old and as cute as a button in my book, however there are skeptics that believe the only means of posting these times is either by blood doping or performance enhancement drugs.
What Do You Think?
The following story is courtesy of FT Times London
Raised eyebrows may continue to follow 16-year-old swimmer Ye Shiwen.
She must be on drugs, whisper the swimming cognoscenti. But the
International Olympic Committee were not alone in telling Ye’s
detractors to “get real”.
The reality may have more to do with juguo, the country’s
unique sports system introduced ahead of the Beijing Olympics, which
combines early scouting and hard training with patriotism and the lure
of financial gain.
Chinese sports officials travel the country in search of children
that display physical features suitable for certain disciplines and
teachers are advised on how to spot talent early. The chosen ones are
placed in special schools for a gruelling regime of training and
absolute obedience to the coach – much like the Soviet system of the
cold war era.
After winning her second gold on Tuesday, Ye revealed she had been
spotted as a seven-year-old at kindergarten, when the size of her hands
stood out. It was the start of nine years of training, five hours a day,
culminating in Olympic glory. “We worked really hard,” she said.
Once they succeed, they are lauded as the pride of the nation and can win riches that change their families’ lives for ever.
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