Since 2001, the regime has invested billions in Project 119, an Olympic training program meant to ensure that China sits atop the medal table this year. The system is named after the number of gold medals that were available in track and field, swimming, and rowing in 2001areas where Chinese athletes have traditionally been weak. In the quest for gold, many Chinese athletes have surrendered their education, personal financial control, and even their health. Children are recruited from a very young age, nation-wide, according to body type. Hundreds of thousands of youngsters are put into provincial-level training systems, and are successively filtered out according to performance. The best athletes move through the system to compete at a national level, where they are put under intense pressure to perform. http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/sports/the-price-of-gold-in-beijing- olympics-china-sports-2664.html
Coaches are sent across China to search for promising children in kindergartens and schoolyards. They look for kids with the right physique who seem particularly agile as they run and jump. The best youngsters are removed from their families and sent to boarding schools, where everything revolves around their training. As recently as 1984, China had a mere 17,000 athletes at all levels of organized sports – and many of these were not in Olympic sports. Today, there are 400,000 youngsters in Chinas state-run athletic academies, where their lives are regimented in a ruthlessly focused drive for perfection. When the best of these children have developed into Olympians, they are given further help by top scientists, psychologists and technicians. Elite foreign coaches are often hired to push them to the next level. Theres no doubt that these foreign coaches are helping Chinas Olympic troops, the Peoples Daily commented last week. They are adding wings to the tiger. http://letustalk.wordpress.com/2008/08/02/olympics-china-to-athletes- win-gold-at-any-cost-for-motherland/
For the Chinese government, gold is everything. One gold equals 1,000 silvers, Olympic officials sometimes tell their coaches. Money is another key factor. Hefty cash bonuses are awarded to every gold medalist. The most celebrated winners could receive more than one million yuan (about $150,000) in cash bonuses, according to Chinese media reports.