Monday, March 7, 2011

News on Li Xiaoshuang’s Gymnastics School

Katie from Full Twist blogged about a short report from all Voices. The original report can be found in Tencent.
I always take these types articles on gymnastics in China with a pinch of salt. If you click through to the report you will see pictures of young gymnasts being held in stretches and being made do conditioning. Stretching and conditioning are all part of gymnastics.
She cited “one of the more fair and realistic articles".
Pressured And Pampered

Gymnastics — in any country — is a tough and painful sport. And Beijing’s sports machine has generally had bad press. Yet some argue that Chinese athletes are in some ways more fortunate than their Western counterparts, particularly as they are paid a government salary.

“Financially, their life is probably a bit easier than most athletes, at least in the U.S.,” argues Susan Brownell, a sports anthropologist from the University of Missouri, who has been working at Beijing Sports University.

“Most Olympic athletes in the U.S. are still supporting themselves by college scholarships or other jobs,” says Brownell. “The result in China is that athletes can concentrate fully on their training.”

Brownell trained as a college athlete both in the United States and China. She says for athletes, life in China is in some ways easier than it is in the U.S.

“They seemed to me a little bit more pampered,” she says. “You did have people who cared about your physical and psychological well-being taking care of you. If I needed a massage, I could get a massage. In comparison, in the U.S. a lot was left up to me.”

Lately I found myself blogged too much on the abusing topics. Seems whenever the Chinese training related reports are around, we will see those photos pop up. I guess Chinese training are tougher. I can put some youtube clips on how Romanian, Russian and even American kids went through the similar conditioning process. But the real point is everyone knows that conditioning is biatch. It is not easy and certainly ain't pretty. The physical limits are relatively easy to be defined here. As for whether it is a child abuse or human right abuse, one might want to go and talk with certain Chinese-American law professor at Yale.

I put a less depressing gymnastics training clip made by MostepanovaFan .

All I can say is that some of those pictures and videos make me appreciate the sport more.

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