page 1
page 2
page 3
page 4
page 5
page 6
page 7
page 8
page 9
page 10
page 11
page 12
page 13
page 14
page 15
page 16
page 17
page 18
page 19
page 20
page 21
page 22
page 23
page 24
page 25
page 26
page 27
page 28
page 29
page 30
page 31
page 32
page 33
page 34
page 35
page 36
page 37
page 38
page 39
page 40
page 41
page 42
page 43
page 44
page 45
page 46
page 47
page 48
page 49
page 50
page 51
page 52
page 53
page 54
page 55
page 56
page 57
page 58
page 59
page 60
page 61
page 62
page 63
page 64
page 65
page 66
page 67
page 68
page 69
page 70
page 71
page 72
page 73
page 74
page 75
page 76
page 77
page 78
page 79
page 80
page 81
page 82
page 83
page 84
page 85
page 86
page 87
page 88
page 89
page 90
page 91
page 92
page 93
page 94
page 95
page 96
page 97
page 98
page 99
page 100

OLYMPIC RESEARCH CORNER Olympic ideas spread basic humanistic values, aiming at harmonious development of individuals. So the Olympic values are closely connected with individual requirements to improve their lifestyles and motivate more people to participate in sport. Xiao Qi, an IT worker in Beijing, says: " The Olympic Games do not merely excite me as a spectacle but also encourage me to enjoy a healthier life though participating in physical exercises". The impact on sport values in China could be significant when taking into consideration that an extensive Olympic Education Programme was carried out nationwide, involving some 400 million students. A great variety of sporting activities took place as a part of the preparations for the Beijing Olympic Games. In 2007 alone, there were 65 mass sport activities organised. These were scattered across various parts in China and arranged the whole year around, involving huge numbers of participants and covering a great variety of sports such as mountain climbing, folk recreation, ball games, swimming, gymnastics, winter sports, cycling, bowling, boules, goalball along with some traditional Chinese sports like Wushu ( martial arts), Taichi Qigong ( regime routine), Yang Ge ( folk dance), lion and dragon dance, Sepak Takraw ( an eastern Asian ball game), shuttlecock and Dragon boating. Of these many events, those that deserve particular mention include: a nationwide mass mountain climbing programme, organised from March to November 2007, in which 1.5 million climbers from 20 different provinces participated; an 11- month- long Dragon Boat Series along the main rivers in China – such as the Yangtze, Yellow, Zhu and Sonhua – which involved about 50 million participants; the Hundred Cities Cycling Tournament, featuring 100,000 cyclists in 120 cities from May to October 2007; a national peasant billiards tournament held from January 2007 to July 2008, featuring villages and schools in some 1000 towns. A Mass Fitness Aerobics Grand Tournament from April to November 2007 attracted a huge number of participants ranging from five- years-old to 60- years- plus. Those mega sport events played a unique role in evoking the mass sport awareness among authorities and the general public as well as mobilising resources for mass sport. Such mega events also functioned as a tool to spread sporting knowledge and skills to certain target groups; for example the National Women's Fitness Demonstration held in April 2007 across 31 provinces, autonomous regions and metropolises, effectively promoted women's participation in sport. Some Olympic sports unfamiliar to Chinese also benefited from the huge events and increased their popularity among the Chinese youth. For example, the Summer Tour Camp of Canoeing under the theme " Feel the Olympic Passion" was hosted from July to September 2007 in seven provinces and cities involving 3,000 youngsters, while the Million Youth Roller Skating Contest was organised under the theme of " One roller skating world and one Olympic Dream". The same was true of the National Amateur Triathlon competition. One of the key legacies of the Beijing Games is the venues, which have become leading tourist attractions. The Olympic Park has become the No. 1 tourist attraction in Beijing – statistics show that the Park had about 150,000 visitors and more than 80,000 visitors visited the Bird's Nest alone on National Day on 1 October this year, while the Forbidden City dropped to second place with 77,000 visitors that day. The venues, according to the plan, will give the citizens new space for their sport participation. Some venues have already started their mass sport programmes: a sailing tournament for students took place in early October this year at the Olympic Sailing Complex in the coastal city Qindao, while the Bird's Nest held a primary school games on 19 October. Sports stars, especially Olympic gold medalists, are usually regarded as national heroes or heroines in China and have never lacked admirers among teenagers and the younger generation. The Beijing Shishahai Sport School, renowned for producing many Olympic champions over the years was inundated with calls after the Games from parents wanting information about the chance to enroll their children and give them the opportunity to realise their Olympic dreams. The same happened in many other cities, especially when Olympic medalists toured their hometowns after the Games. Gymnastics gold medalist Li Shanshan and weightlifting silver medalist Li Hongli returned to their sports school in Jiangmen City, Guangdon Province, which led to a plethora of phone calls to the school from many enthusiastic parents. The most popular sports are those events in which Chinese athletes have shown superiority, like gymnastics, table tennis, shooting and badminton. Some sports in which Chinese athletes made breakthroughs at the Beijing Games have also captured the public's imagination: fencing is a good example. When Chinese fencer Zhong Man won the gold medal in men's sabre, one of the most direct outcomes was an instant increase in the number of children wanting to take up fencing, especially the sabre, because " Zhong got the Olympic gold in that event" as a teenager told this writer when asked to explain why he had taken up the sport. Attendances at weekend and evening training sessions in many sport schools increased directly after the Games by about 20%, according to one such school in Beijing. Seven years ago the IOC Evaluation Commission expressed its belief that a Beijing Games would leave a unique legacy to China and to sport. It may be too early to say that the Beijing Games have already directly led to an increase in mass sport participation in China since adjustments have to be made to ensure long- term benefits accrue but the current situation is very encouraging. Hai Ren is the director of the Centre for Olympic Studies at the Beijing Sports University – established in 1994 as the first Olympic research institution in China. He is Chief Editor of the first text book, the Olympic Movement, for university students in China and three Olympic educational books used in schools across China. OLYMPIC REVIEW91