China’s approach to sports

The World

Any morning in almost any park in Beijing, you’ll see groups practicing tai chi or swordplay and yet another doing ballroom dancing. All these activities prize agility and skill, not brute strength. This sports anthropologist says attitudes towards sweating have generally been low, and physical contact is not prized generally either in China. there are differing attitudes towards the body itself: ancient Greeks worshipped the muscular form of the body and even sometimes had athletes compete naked, while ancient Chinese had athletes well clothed. There was a fundamental philosophical difference as well: China approached its ancient games without contention, instead it is the ritual and rhythm that were most important. That changed when missionaries brought their sports to China in the modern age. They also brought values of teamwork and trust, solidarity, etc. this missionary also spreads the notion that the Chinese Olympic competitors represent the average Chinese citizen, and beyond just themselves. This athlete says in China, good sportsmanship is also not necessarily valued. There’s been a lot of pressure in Chinese athletes to win in the international arena. At first Chinese didn’t do so well, because western sports are garnered more towards western athletes. But as a new generation of Chinese athletes have adapted, winning has come to symbolize something more for China. some Chinese athletes view winning as a way of showing that yellow ethnicities can compete athletically�a way of beating the West at its own games.

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