From humiliating punishments to invasive DNA testing, China’s power on the Olympic stage has cost thousands of children.
Communist Party-backed sports officials ruthlessly select and train opponents from an early age – with kids as young as four being enlisted to train for Olympic glory .
With a huge population of 1.4 billion, China There’s a vast state-backed operation that puts young athletes through brutal training regiments to prepare them for the world stage.
It approaches sport with a level of precision, planning and ruthlessness typically reserved for the battlefield.
Although China’s strict state sports system has been criticized, it has also catapulted the country into one of the most successful Olympic nations since returning to the sport in 1980.
The system is rooted in the Soviet model, which saw sport as a way to attract prestige to the Communist system.
The state sends scouts to hunt down tens of thousands of children for full-time training at more than 2,000 government-run sports schools.
Selection tests showed that children were presented with brutal challenges such as push-ups, endurance runs, and bench presses that prioritized overall strength over specific skills.
And the elite students will be transferred to China’s National Training Center – a row of buildings on the outskirts of Beijing patrolled by armed guards.
After enlisting in state-backed training camps, young players must sacrifice everything and train to achieve glory under the Chinese flag.
It was also reported for the first time at the Winter Olympics that China would use DNA testing to select athletes for their physical stats.
World champion figure skater Jessica Shuran Yu, who was born, raised and trained in China, claims she endured years of horrific abuse inside China’s brutal regime. Country.
She says she often gets hit in the face by a plastic skate guard when fouling – and she was once kicked so hard with the toe of a skate that it left a permanent scar on the tube her feet.
Yu said a “culture of physical discipline” is common in the country – and athletes are often labeled “lazy”, “stupid”, “retarded”, “useless” and “fat”. “.
She told Guardians: “The abuse started at the age of 11 when I started being asked to lend a hand whenever I made a mistake.
“On particularly bad days, I would be beaten more than 10 times in a row until my skin was intact.
“When I was 14 years old and going through puberty, I started to struggle with my jumps because I gained weight. I was called in and kicked my shin bone with a blade and forced to try again. I didn’t. allowed to limp or cry.
“Most of the time such abuse happens in front of other skaters on the rink. I didn’t tell any of my friends, the adults at my school or my league, because I was so humiliated. elegant. I feel so small. dehumidify.”
Yu said young Chinese athletes were abused when she worked as a coach at a famous training center in Beijing.
She said: “I’ve seen one little figure skater get bumped and dragged off the ice, while another was pressured to compete with two torn ligaments, which required surgery. afterward.
“It breaks my heart to learn that this abuse is still going on. Many athletes and coaches believe such behavior is necessary and normal in China.
“It’s also hard for Chinese athletes to speak up. They could lose their place and their careers could end. But as a Singaporean athlete who trained in China, I feel like I’m in the running. in a unique position.”
Johannah Doecke, a diving instructor at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis in the US, said the Chinese female athletes were “literally subdued”.
“You wonder why Chinese women are so successful? Most of the men are coaches. The women were literally beaten down.
“If you say no to anything, you’ll be punished, slapped. It’s a brutal system.”
Doecke used to coach Chinese diver Chen Ni – and she says the athlete is afraid of making mistakes.
She said: “If she made a mistake, she would immediately kneel down and apologize.
“When I worked with Chen, I sometimes heard that ‘if you want a good performance from her, you’re going to have to beat her’.”
And in another barbaric move, athletes aiming to compete at the 2022 Winter Olympics are forced to undergo genetic testing as part of the official selection process to ensure there is no “bomb”. timer” in their genes.
China’s Ministry of Science and Technology said that “complete genome sequencing” will be performed on the athletes to test “speed, endurance and explosive force”.
Genetic testing has been conducted over the past two years to ensure China selects only the best athletes for the global competition, South China Morning Post report.
A government researcher, who asked not to be named, said: ‘Some children have near-perfect health reports, but there is a ticking bomb in their genes.
“If it disappeared, it could take money, years of effort – and even lives.”
Many Chinese parents are lured into sending their children to brutal sports schools by government subsidies and promising Olympic careers for their children.
It doesn’t matter if the sport attracts the masses or not young people are interested – if they are deemed worthy it is their duty to perform in the national interest.
Bewildering photos show 4-year-olds training at a Chinese gymnastics school.
In one heartbreaking photo, a girl can be seen sobbing as she hangs from the bars while a trainer stands in front of her holding a stick.
NO ROOM FOR ERROR
Another image shows a line of boys, most of them in tears, holding barbells at a gymnastics training center.
At Li Xiaoshuang Gymnastics School, there is little room for error.
They bow their heads in apology to their coaches if they don’t hit the mark, and a bad performance is punished with extra weight training at the end of a long day.
At night, they sleep in bunk beds – two share the top mattress, two on the bottom bunk, in the dorm.
Children were selected according to the same methods as those who could stack bullets in their arms for archery, and girls with long arms were sent for weightlifting.
Gymnastics stars are known for starting very early, but other sports, such as weightlifting, also put kids through brutal regimens.
And their young bodies are often hurt by intense training at such an immature age.
Layne Vandenberg, an expert on Chinese sports from King’s College London, told The Sun Online: “Sports and cultural training has evolved as a tactic to strengthen the military and embrace ‘ fighting spirit’ to counter the perception that China is the ‘sick man of Asia’.
“In China, training physically and competing on a global stage like the Olympic Games is tantamount to defending the nation.
“This concept embodied in athletic training can reflect military-style culture and training, which is characterized as more rigorous and sometimes brutal.”
The PhD candidate in the King’s College London-University of Hong Kong Joint PhD Program added: “China hopes to develop physical prowess by producing high-achieving athletes.
“China has publicly committed to achieving its athletic ability goals and following through on these commitments, which supports the legitimacy of the Chinese Communist Party.
“Maintaining its reputation as not only a nation of sporting achievement but also a remarkable and worthy host of major sporting events clearly continues to be an ongoing goal as we towards the upcoming 2022 Beijing Olympics.”
https://www.the-sun.com/news/4611009/china-winter-olympics-machine-beaten-dna/ China’s horror Winter Olympics machine sees kids ‘brutally beaten’ by coaches and athletes in chilling DNA selection process