Finding and nurturing sporting talent at the grassroot level is very important to a
country’s future success. While countries like India entirely fail to give importance to this,
China is at the other end of the spectrum.
China has been a superpower at the Olympics since their first appearance at the games
in 1952 with a haul of over 600 medals which ranks them 7th in the all-time medal
standings. With this kind of success, it’s easy for viewers to disregard the cost that must
be paid to achieve it. Chinese sports schools begin training students as early as the age
of six and are put through gruelling regimes that push them to the limits of their physical
capability. The number of people that have to fail for one to succeed is so high, that we
have to question whether the price that is paid for the small chance of finding sporting
success is worth it. For instance, Chinese gymnast Zhang Shangwu, was a specialist in
the rings but injured his Achilles tendon and now sells bracelets in the Beijing
subway.The ideology that it is impossible to go down two paths– in this case sports and
education, without dedicating adequate time to each one is archaic that exists in Indian
and Chinese societies along with many others. This is a way of thinking that I feel must
be replaced with focusing on finding the ideal balance between sports and the
classroom. A famous athlete to be inspired by is NFL Safety Troy Polamalu who achieved
a degree in history while he was still in the league; proving that it is very possible to reach
the highest level of sports and still have an education to fall back on.



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