China’s internet has been abuzz about the unfair treatment China got at the London 2012 Olympics, in the eyes of many Chinese. Author Zhang Lijia takes at her weblog a step back and tries to figure out what was going on.
I agree that China got a bad press and it didn’t deserve that. Partly, China has become the victim of its own sporting success, which has extended into fields traditionally dominated by Westerners – swimming, for example. There is perhaps some jealousy, or at least discomfort, in the West about China’s achievements.
So, people instinctively regard super performers like Ye as “cheats” or the product of the ruthless statesports model copied from the Soviet Union. Under such a system, the government invests huge amounts of money and resources in a few who have the potential to win Olympic gold…
I think China should modify its sports model and take a far more relaxed approach towards Olympic gold medals. We’ve proved our brilliance to the world and the medals have served their purpose as a social morale booster. If an athlete wins a silver medal, he should feel proud – as long as he has done his best – instead of shame, as was the case of weightlifter Wu Jingbiao.
The story was earlier published at the unlinkable South China Morning Post.
Zhang Lijia has been writing extensively on China’s moral crisis. More at Storify.
- In China, dark is ugly – Zhang Lijia (chinaspeakersbureau.info)
- The insult of shengnu, leftover women – Zhang Lijia (chinaspeakersbureau.info)
- My meeting with Chen Guangcheng in NY – Zhang Lijia (chinaspeakersbureau.info)
- Churches are needed in a harmonious society – Zhang Lijia (chinaspeakersbureau.info)