This Is How We Do It!

We humans, by nature, are competitive. When we are kids we fight for the toffees, when we are teenagers we fight over girls/boys, when we grow a little older we fight for grades and colleges and jobs and the rat race never ends. Is the race good or is it bad? I am no one to judge because that is how it has been for ages now and that is how it will be for ages to come. And one of the most significant competitions in human history have been the Olympics that started somewhere around 776 BC and have stood the test of times and continue even today, in 2012 AD.

Winning at Olympics is tough, prestigious and one of the most highest accolades that a sportsperson can ever achieve. There have been people who give away their entire lives in the pursuit of a single gold medal. And one such country that has performed stupendously and brilliantly in the modern Olympics is China. The People’s Republic of China first participated in the Olympics in the year 1952. China’s performance can be summarized easily in the table below:

Games Gold Silver Bronze Total Rank
1952 Helsinki 0 0 0 0
1984 Los Angeles 15 8 9 32 4
1988 Seoul 5 11 12 28 11
1992 Barcelona 16 22 16 54 4
1996 Atlanta 16 22 12 50 4
2000 Sydney 28 16 14 58 3
2004 Athens 32 17 14 63 2
2008 Beijing (host) 51 21 28 100 1
2012 London 38 27 23 88 2
Total 201 144 128 473

Their performance has been phenomenal, hasn’t it? But then the Chinese have always been famous for their competitive spirit and hard work.

Today, when I was at work, I received a mail from one of my colleagues about how China actually wins its medals. Those pictures are shocking and I don’t even know how to describe them.

These pictures just make you wonder how important winning is. Is it worth denying these kids their childhood? Is it worth putting them through so much physical and mental torture to get a handful of Golds at Olympics? I don’t know. But this is not how kids are supposed to be. They are supposed to enjoy their childhood, play innocent games, get dirty in the mud. But definitely not this.

As Winston Churchill had rightly said,

“When you are winning a war almost everything that happens can be claimed to be right and wise.”

But the question remains, is it worth it?


Information and image courtesy: Google and Wikipedia.

28 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Boomie Bol
    Aug 14, 2012 @ 00:10:40

    Couldn’t see the pictures but yea I think the Olympics have become so highly competitive its main purpose of bringing the world together might have been lost. The Chinese have always been highly competitive


  2. carolynpageabc
    Aug 14, 2012 @ 02:58:06

    Shalvika, none of the images are viewable..? They are blank white spaces…. 😦


    • Shalvika P
      Aug 14, 2012 @ 09:44:25

      It was all fine when I published the post last night. I’ll look into it when I get home today. Dunno what’s wrong 😦


    • Shalvika P
      Aug 14, 2012 @ 11:40:05

      You know I am still able to see the pictures. I just dunno whats wrong 😦


      • carolynpageabc
        Aug 14, 2012 @ 11:50:16

        I’ve tried downloading them however; still no pic…. sorry…
        I think I understand though… The training of some countries is so hard and almost cruel to the youngsters…. Winning at all costs seem to be the goal….!


        • Shalvika P
          Aug 14, 2012 @ 20:43:45

          I think the problem should be now sorted 🙂 Check it 🙂


          • carolynpageabc
            Aug 15, 2012 @ 09:50:40

            Oh, crikey, Shalvika…. I wonder how many of these little folk end up with bodies misaligned and arthritic (amongst other complaints)? Too too sad; they don’t have a choice..! One of the things I learned when I first started yoga was never to take the body further than it could comfortably go naturally knowing that, in time, it would become more and more supple. This doesn’t seem to be the case here.
            I believe this happens all over the world, in one form or another; born of a need to feel supreme…! Sad…


  3. GianCarlo 。(◕‿◕)。TheDaydreamer
    Aug 14, 2012 @ 06:28:06

    How come I cannot see the pictures? Ugh. >.< Im curious.


  4. Madhu
    Aug 14, 2012 @ 18:09:26

    Can’t see them either 🙂 But I get the gist.


  5. Lorna's Voice
    Aug 14, 2012 @ 23:17:55

    I knew it was bad, but seeing the pictures breaks my heart. I wonder how they treat these young people who didn’t perform up to their standards after the games are over? I shudder to think…


  6. Eric Alagan
    Aug 15, 2012 @ 06:38:55

    I feel sorry for the children and pity for the parents that they agreed to this!


  7. Barb
    Aug 15, 2012 @ 13:52:03

    I don’t want to make judgements because it may be out of context…but what the???? were parents, kids, coaches thinking?


  8. brettbatten
    Aug 16, 2012 @ 19:50:49

    More people need to see this.


  9. Anne Schilde
    Aug 16, 2012 @ 22:45:15

    Most of what I’m going to say here is strictly objective.

    I play piano, music being another area where the Chinese are often criticized for their regime. I started when I was 6 and didn’t take it seriously until I was 17 and much too intolerant of structure and rules. As a result, I will never be able to play the piano the way I dream of playing. Perhaps it’s because I missed my childhood. I played hopscotch, and Red Rover, and cut out paper dolls, instead of countless hours of practice… practice that seemed like torture to me at the time. I threw away my dream.

    When an adult, or even young adult, pushes themselves to extremes, we admire their determination, and applaud their achievement. When a child pushes themselves to that extreme, we call it cruelty. Is it? Is it just discipline? In truth, everyone is different. Some of these kids, when interviewed later, say they resent what they went through. Many even call it torture. Some of them are proud of it. Some of them might say we fall short of our dreams because we missed our childhood.

    In a sense, religion tries to push us into the same rigid discipline. Religions differ on some things, but they mostly agree on a few. The true path to spirituality is in complete denial of self. Take nothing in life for yourself. Live to serve. Starve your body to enrich your soul. Take no love in any worldly possession. Some religions even push physical discipline to this kind of extreme.

    And does the religion ask a child to live their life this way? It doesn’t not ask. What then would we say, if a 6 year old girl was starved for a day, or 3? …or denied all worldly possessions? …or chastised for playing with her friend’s toys? …or spent her days in servitude? Is it wrong to ask of her what the religion asks of her parents?

    Objectivity aside now…

    For myself, I love competition and I thrill in personal bests. I think it should be in the things you truly excel at naturally, so you don’t miss out on the paper dolls. I plan on living the rest of my life, not denying it. I play the piano as well as I was meant to, because I practice it as much as I love to.

    Thanks for sharing the pics and your awesome provocative thoughts, Shalvika!


  10. My Wiz Mind's Wit
    Oct 15, 2012 @ 19:16:44

    Nice post.. 🙂
    Somehow it shows the dilemma of FAME or SHAME 😦


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