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[HugChina] National crazy for Olympic gold medals encourages privileges for Chinese medalists

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Posted on Wed, Aug 1, 2012 09:18 AM 2914720

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Chinese medalists, especially those winning gold medals in international sports events, enjoy special privileges endowed by central and local governments, enterprises and social organizations, which is partially encouraged by national crazy for gold medals and the elite sports system of China.

It is well known in China that Chinese medalists, especially those winning gold medals in international sports events, enjoy special privileges, such as lavishly money bonus, high level position in governments, and pursuit by fans accross the country, and well-paid business endorsement, etc. endowed by central and local governments, enterprises and social organizations. These extraordinary phenomena are partially encouraged by national crazy for gold medals and the state-sponsored sports system of China.

In "old" China (before 1949), Chinese were once called East Asia Sick Man. Since the establishment of PR China in 1949, China has made every effort to get rid of this shameful tag. Since the opening up in late 1970s, the number of medals won by the nation’s athletes is considered an important indicator of “economic and social development”. Under this kind of state thought, Chinese leader unveiled a Gold-medal strategy in late 1980s and employed state-sponsoreded sports system, also called elite sports system, to bring about as many medals especially gold ones as possible in all international sports events. Under this Gold-medal strategy, China infuses huge state resources into the few elite athletes with the only aim to accumulate gold medals in international sports arena, those winning a gold medals are exclaimed as more than a national hero, enshrined like a god, and enjoy numerous, extraordinary privileges including lavishly money bonus, high-ranking government positions, etc.; those has the potential to win a gold, money demand is satisfied at any cost.

Today China is one of the few nations, apart from the likes of North Korea and Cuba, to practise the elite sport management system modeled after the old Soviet-style system, to commit so many state resources to athletics.

Compared to the average lavishly funding on elite athletes, the per-capita spending on public sports facilities lags far behind most of the countries in the world. In one aspect, Chinese athletes won the most gold medals in Beijing Olympic Games for the first time in history, even suppassing the US; in the other aspect, dwellers in big Chinese cities have no free sports ground, not to mention those living in Chinese small cities and the countryside. It is absurd to many people that Chinese athletes won numerous medals in shooting, fencing, but actually ordinary Chinese are deprived of the right to own any kind of guns including hunting guns and air guns, and in some cities, Chinese citizens are required to buy a kitchen knife in real name. Except the military and very few state-kept athletes, not any Chinese has the chance to play a real gun.

Some Chinese call this phenomenon as national crazy for gold medals which encourages privileges for the gold medalists. Good athletes becoming high ranking officials are a common practice in China, which is regarded as recognition of the achievements of the athletes. It is common phenomena that the Chinese medalists, especially those Olympic gold winners, can start university study without any exam. The economic benefits gained by the gold medalists of China are often equal to combined earnings made by tens of thousands ordinary Chinese. Over the last 24 years, state bonus for international sports winners has increased 59 times. The provinces and mulicipanities also provide plenty money awards as much as 1 million RMB for an Olympic gold. Together with other earlings, the income of gold Olympic winners can easly reach 10 million RMB.

Although most Chinese feel proud to know Chinese athletes win gold medals in international sports event, there are many sober Chinese frowning at the gold-medal strategy and the elite sports system of China. For more than a decade, there has been a debate in China's sports circles about whether the pursuit of Olympic medals should be downgraded and more government effort and funding devoted to school sports and popular sports. But so far the state-sponsored sports system is still in firm hold. Chinese leaders are reluctant to relinquish the elite sport management system which brings sense of national pride for ordinary Chinese and successfully diverts public discontent at many social problems.

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Posted on Wed, Aug 1, 2012 09:33 AM

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Chinese top star athlete Liu Xiang was granted enrollment without participating entrace exam in postgraduate institute of the Eastchina Normal University in Shanghai. For world champions, no matter how weak their academic knowledge was, it is easy to get enrolled in elite universities of China.

 

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Posted on Wed, Aug 1, 2012 09:33 AM

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The spectacular scene when Yao Ming 姚明, Chinese super star and NBA basketball player, entered the university. It is common that the Chinese medalists, especially those Olympic gold winners, can start university study without any exam, which receives wide criticism among Chinese public. But most universities still favor the athlete stars and regard it as a pride to enrol a medalist, because the universities can increase their popularity and fame in this way, as well as bring about considerable economic benefits for them.

 

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Posted on Wed, Aug 1, 2012 09:33 AM

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Chinese gymnast and Beijing 2008 gold winner Yang Wei 杨威 and her wife Yang Yun 杨云. There are also some exception universities. In september 2010, elite Chinese university Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST) located in Wuhan in central China's Hubei Province expelled 307 postgraduates for surpassing upper limit of schooling time. The list included Yang Wei and Chinese badminton Athen 2004 Olympics gold medal winner Gao Ling 高崚. In this time, the university offering no diploma for those unqualified gained wide applause from the Chinese public since the HUST university insisted on the bottom principle.

 

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Posted on Wed, Aug 1, 2012 09:33 AM

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Two Chinese children stood before the medal table of Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. In one aspect, Chinese athletes won the most gold medals in Beijing Olympic Games for the first time in history, even suppassing the US; in the other aspect, dwellers in big Chinese cities have no free sports ground, not to mention those living in Chinese small cities and the countryside.

 

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Posted on Wed, Aug 1, 2012 09:33 AM

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Liu Xiang withdrew from 110 meter hurdle competition in Beijing 2008 Olympics. Compared to the average lavishly funding on elite athletes, the per-capita spending to public sports facilities lags far behind most of the countries in the world. The criteria for big sports nation is not only how many gold medals Chinese state-sponsored sports system churns out.

 

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Posted on Wed, Aug 1, 2012 09:33 AM

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Du Li 杜丽, Chinese shooter and Athen 2004 olympic gold winner, was hospitalized for giving birth. Shortly after Du Li won the first gold for China at Athen 2004, the sports school in Zibo of Shandong where she once studied set up a class in her name, and the stadium was named to Du Li Shooting Stadium. It was an exaggeration that the process she gave birth to a child was live broadcasted by local TV station.

 

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Posted on Wed, Aug 1, 2012 09:33 AM

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Wang Hao, the Beijing 2008 table tennis gold medalist was welcomed with huge banner in his hometown.

 

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Posted on Wed, Aug 1, 2012 09:33 AM

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Yang Wenjun, Chinese sprint canoer and Beijing 2008 gold medal winner, returned to his hometown in Fengcheng City of Jiangxi Province with warmest welcome.

 

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Posted on Wed, Aug 1, 2012 09:33 AM

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Chinese shooter Yi Siling 易思玲 claimed first gold medal of London Olympics for China. As soon as the news spread to her howtown, a great celebration with firecracker took place in Guiyang County of Hunan Province in central south China. Numerous banners were hung up on streets of Guiyang, in her residential complex, in the elementary, middle school where she once studied. At least one music team performed on the platza of Guiyang celebrating her gold medal. It is said that firecrackers cracked for at least one hour on the largest platza of Guiyang County Ouyanghai Platza.

 

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