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Medal Fatigue

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This article checks up on China’s youth sports system since the London 2012 Olympics. With China’s transition into a market economy, the sports system has changed with few parents willing to risk their children’s future in the pursuit of gold medals. Less prospects for sports such as ping pong attract less and less players and financial problems for even successful athletes in China follows into retirement with many struggling to find jobs after their careers have ended. Stigmas attached to professional sportsmen and women in China are another reason for a lack of recruitment. They are generally considered uneducated with underdeveloped social skills. During the 1990s, gold medals were seen as of paramount importance to the success of Chinese sports eclipsing any other potential advantages these sports may bring. Those that failed to achieve gold were stuck between a rock and a hard-place with little education and a lack of financial support. At the turn of the century, fewer parents were allowing their children to enter the world of Chinese sports. Attitudes in the 21st Century are changing, however, and national conversations are underway about how China should treat its athletes on the international stage.
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Keywords: Olympics, Beijing 2008, London 2012, China Sport, Gold Medal, China Sportsmen, China Sportswomen, Sports Prospects

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2013

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  • The World of Chinese is a bi-monthly English magazine and web portal dedicated to Chinese language and culture. Each issue focuses on one specific aspect of Chinese culture and explores it in depth. Previous issues have gone under such broad themes as Adventure, Social Media and Youth. Along with culture, the magazine also looks at travel within China, and Chinese cuisine. The magazine was relaunched into its current format at the beginning of 2011. Whereas previous incarnations had included content such as business and economics, and had made much greater use of the Chinese language, this latest version leans more on contemporary issues in Chinese society. The aesthetic of the magazine was also completely overhauled, giving it a more unconventional appearance. The magazine is owned by the Commercial Press, and is targeted at expatriates living in China, as well as students studying the language.
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