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.