I have never been close to training for the Olympics. The closest I’ve ever come to training for anything even remotely near to an Olympics for me would be when I attempted (and did not succeed, FYI) to train for a half marathon. And that was not anywhere near what Olympic athletes must do to train.
The reason I bring this up is that people are having a fit over how the Chinese are training their children to be Olympic athletes. The Chinese have schools that focus mainly on the training and not as much on the education. They have children whose goal is to become a champion, not to become educated and figure out what they might want to do after they are done competing.
I have two things to say to this. One, let China do with their children what they want. Training them at a young age is not abuse and there are other places that do it as well. Second, we have plenty of children in the US that also feel like that – it just seems (to me at least, and I might not have the whole story) that they also get more of an education.
Training to become an Olympic athlete is not easy. It is hard on the mind and hard on the body. And oftentimes, this training starts at a very young age and children might feel pressured into staying in their sport even if their interest wanes. It’s a hard thing to do.
I’m not saying that the Chinese are right or wrong. But if you want to become a world superpower in the Olympics, it might be the route to go.
Have you been watching the Olympics? What do you think of training children young?