Thursday, August 21, 2008
Chinese Track & Field
The Chinese '119' Strategy: Mountains out of molehills.
FOLLOW-UP. If you're anything like us, you're wondering where all those Chinese gold medals come from. Why do most other nations have approximately the same number of silver and bronze medals as gold medals, while China has approximately double the number of golds compared to their silvers and bronzes?
The answer is actually quite simple. As part of its '119 Program' China has been fielding teams in events no one else even knows are Olympic Sports. It started with ping-pong, which everyone else in the world thought was a children's game. The Chinese decided sometime back in the days of Mao that it was their National Football League, which is why we still confront the ludicrously overblown spectacle shown in the YouTube video above. Who gives a flying f___ that there are people who play ping-pong as if they were on the center court at Wimbledon? No one. So China gets the gold medal while nobody else plays at all. Which is exactly the right response. And we're not suggesting any nation seek to change the situation.
But just for your information, we've compiled a list of some of the other sports China is "dominating" at the Olympics.
Left to right, from top row: China's Olympic teams for Chinese
Checkers, Caroms, Twister, Mah Jongg (Women's), Mah
Jongg (Men's), Quoits, Labyrinth, Tiddly Winks, and Jarts.
The only aspect of all this that might occasion some concern is the accumulating evidence that the Peoples Republic of China is taking this whole dimension of semi-sport way too seriously and possibly abusing children in the process. We've managed to procure some videos which are, in aggregate, more than a little alarming vis a vis Chinese training techniques.
Should children as young as one or two be conscripted into Olympic mah jongg training programs?
(Particularly in light of the enormous high-tech investment being made in big-league mah jongg infrastructure...)
And, yes, it is a pattern. Tibet is much in the news, but has anyone reported the shame of Tibetan toddlers forced into marathon caroms practices?
Or children who are inducted into the game of quoits by being compelled to become quoits?
This is the kind of sports-obsessed cancer that could easily lead to the quoit-subjugation of mere infants, even in our own supposedly enlightened nations. It just makes you sick.
And perhaps worst of all, what about the small children who get hijacked into the moral quagmire of Twister before they're old enough to know anything about "good touch/bad touch"?
It would seem that some very serious investigations need to be carried out into the entire Chinese Track & Field athletic program.
But does anybody really care?
We've thought about this long and hard, and we've come to the conclusion that we don't care. As far as we're concerned, China can get as many ping-pong and tiddly winks medals as it wants (as long as there's no stick-beating terrorism involved). That doesn't mean you couldn't get all fired up about it if you felt like it. You could start with a Jarts witch hunt. Why can't we see the teams's faces? Are they so riddled with Jarts puncture scars that we couldn't bear to see them? Are Jarts made of lead now? And why are dogs being systematically exploited in quoits training? And on and on. Don't get us started. The last thing we need is to get involved with some group of concerned world citizens based in San Francisco...
But what else do you have to do?