Do China have an unfair advantage?

Discussion in 'Sport' started by baldrick, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. baldrick

    baldrick
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    Chinese athletes are dominating in London but does there come a point where you have to question a nation's eligibility to participate? China identifies children with even the merest hint of potential and whisks them off to state run training facilities where they will train relentlessly day after day, year after year.

    Is this fair? How do you balance the playing field so that counties who don't ship 6 and 7 year olds off to training academies can stand a chance of competing?
     
  2. Matt_C

    Matt_C
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  3. leeince

    leeince
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  4. Trollslayer

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    China has a lot more peopel to choose from, that is an advantage.
     
  5. baldrick

    baldrick
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    I would be a little upset if someone whisked my son off to a training academy on the other side of the country at 6 years old where they will train all day every day potentially to the detriment of anything else....
     
  6. Heroik

    Heroik
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    There is nothing "unfair" about this.

    The question should be is it right or good practise for the children to be disposed to this at such a young age?
     
  7. Steven

    Steven
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    Unless people are being pumped full of drugs nobody has a right anywhere to question somebody for simply being better. Some parents in this country choose to send their children off to school and only see them every other weekend. Life is about choices
     
  8. nheather

    nheather
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    Not unfair, but from what I've seen in some reports and documentaries I do question the humanity of it.

    Potential youngsters are taken away from their homes, barely ever seeing their family for years on end. The training schedule is brutal. They get a better lifestyle (in terms of money, housing etc.) than they may have as farmers but it is nothing special. Success is expected and failure is punished.

    So from a sport point of view it trains very good athletes, and I don't believe they are on, or need, performance enhancing drugs. But from a humanity point of view I think their treatment borders on immoral.

    No doubt it gets results.

    In the 1930's Stalin used a method to improve the efficiency of miners. He got one of the most experienced miners and gave him a good seam to work on. His daily output was then set as the measure for all miners. If they didn't deliver as much then their pay would be docked according to the shortfall. Of course they didn't have good seams or the best equipment. The result is that they worked their socks off, production increased but they still didn't meet the targets so employment cost fell.

    You could say that is an excellent way to do business - increased output for less cost - every company's dream, but is it right to do such a thing?

    Cheers,

    Nigel
     
  9. baldrick

    baldrick
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    Surely though if the means by which you achieve your goals are unethical or immoral then you have an unfair advantage over those that are not prepared to take the same actions.

    I am by no means saying that the Chinese athletes aren't phenomenal but from the point of view of America, the UK and France competing against China, the latter has an unfair advantage!
     
  10. nheather

    nheather
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    You could look at it that way, but you would have to say that the USA has an even bigger advantage over other teams with the amount of money they can throw into training, equipment, research etc.

    Personally, I would have to seperate the two issues.

    Does China have an unfair advantage at Sport? - no, they are using the methods and resources that they have available to them just as the USA are.

    Is the treatment of young athletes ethical and moral? - probably not.

    Cheers,

    Nigel
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2012
  11. Ian J

    Ian J
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    It's interesting that whilst some nations throw money and facilities into training sportsmen it's the poorer nations that come up with the global superstars in the events that really fire the imagination of the public as the Jamaicans, Kenyans and Ethiopians will testify
     
  12. Kevo

    Kevo
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    And Michael Phelps has a lot more events to win medals in... Is that fair?
     
  13. Dony

    Dony
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    In the context of swimming events yes it is. All the other swimmers have the same opportunities to win medals at various distances, not just Phelps.
     
  14. Steven

    Steven
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    Depends who is the judge. When hundreds of millions of Chinese are poorer than the disadvantaged in rich western nations, who is to say which sacrifices they cannot make? No it is hardly perfect. But the it is not a perfect world. It is equally unfair to even suggest only pampered kids in perfect training schools should be allowed to compete.
     
  15. IL Cattivo

    IL Cattivo
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    For the size of our Island/s and population compared to other countries participating I think we're doing outstandingly well. Credit where it's due if you ask me.....

    :smashin:
     
  16. Mshulla

    Mshulla
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    What is clearly unfair is having sports in the olympics that only a tiny percentage of the world population take part in. Such as equestrian and sailing.
    Not saying they're not genuine sports but surely not right to have in the olympics.
    Just weighs the medal table in favour of those countries that do have teams.
    Then you have rowing, canoeing, kayaking again tiny numbers participate in these sports.
    We might as well put American football or baseball in the olympics:devil:
     
  17. Steven

    Steven
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    Golf and Rugby 7's has been added for Rio 2016 :)
     
  18. simon ess

    simon ess
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    Rugby 7s?

    That does surprise me.
     
  19. Trollslayer

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    China has over twenty times our population but only double the number of medals so we are doing about ten times as well per capita.
    So what is our unfair advantage?
     
  20. nabby

    nabby
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    It's so the Aussies have a chance of winning more than one gold medal ;)
     
  21. simon ess

    simon ess
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    Or Golf and Rugby 7s gives Fiji the chance of 2.
     
  22. NorvernRob

    NorvernRob
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    Exactly what I thought, if the UK had a billion people to pick from and the same training/facilities as we currently have then we'd wipe the floor with all the other nations by a mile.
     
  23. douki

    douki
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    Usain Bolt has an unfair advantage because he's a lot taller than his competitors and has longer legs.
     
  24. delta_42

    delta_42
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    I think their are a lot of flippant comments here overlooking the real issue. That China is a totalitarian state using sport for political means, and that it is questionable how much freedom their athletes have. To say that taking children away from their families to be forced into rigorous training for year after year whether they or their families want it or not is something that we in the UK don't do simply through laziness is utterly ridiculous.
     
  25. keydude

    keydude
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    It is bad, if it really is the case. 'Concentration camps' springs to mind........
     
  26. la gran siete

    la gran siete
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    I wouldnt complain as we as a nation have done far better than we have ever done before and that counts far more IMO considering we are a small nation with 60mill people whereas China has over a billion.I am only disappointed we have not done better in the athletics an swimming pool
     
  27. Philly112

    Philly112
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    Well, re athletics, we're doing OK. 3 golds in 60 mins last Saturday was not too bad... But we don't have strength in depth. To be honest, we haven't been strong for many years. Swimming was poor. Their funding will likely be cut.

    Phil
     
  28. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    The performance of the UK in athletics has been more in keeping with the "correct" performance of the UK in relation to size and resource and I don't think it is a disappointment. Unlike our "speciality" sports, athletics is really ultimately about what nationality the best person in that event happens to be at the time. We've had great people in the past, we have great and competitive people now but there are two hundred other countries with great and competitive people as well and our skill with technology and training cannot easily overcome that.

    Swimming is a little different and might have more justification of being thought as a little disappointing. I don't think we've underperformed so much as other countries have kept the pressure up though. Adlington's bronze winning 400m time in 2012 was faster than her gold time in 2008. Only an idiot would say she underperformed and this is repeated across any number of other athletes.

    And China? Totalitarianism is good at this sort of thing but it isn't the answer to unlimited performance. We've seen supposed "shoe-ins" fail to deliver at the games and it suggests that there is no "perfect" way of training an athlete even if you start from childhood.
     
  29. nheather

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    I would hope so. When I saw how the £335 million funding was distributed, swimming got more than any other sport, including athletics.

    Cheers,

    Nigel
     
  30. BlueOrange25

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    I don't think China have an unfair advantage. When you look at the size of the population, state resources and talent identification, I think it's arguable that their performance isn't all that special overall.

    Some 1.3 billion people and they're (currently) second in the medal table with 37 golds and 81 medals in total (the USA with 41 and 94 respectively).

    Whilst you can't always make like for like comparisons, GB and USA's medal totals make China's efforts seem a little embarrassing.
     

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