London China suspects bias against its Olympic athletes | Sport | The Guardian
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Part of the isolation comes from the divers' rigorous training regime, but also seems to be encouraged by the sports authorities in China.
The athletes are driven the short distance from the training complex to their dormitories by bus; the outside world is glimpsed through a window. And their apartments, each one shared by several performers, are off limits.
The sportsmen and women in this system almost always eat together too. Athletes and coaches sit down at the communal canteen, which provides sumptuous dishes.
As one official put it: They just move from one to the other. I need a period of time just to let my brain think about what I want to do next," said Wu, who comes from Shanghai.
But that is in the future. But even here the enmities tend to be more traditional, such as the isolated and somewhat half-hearted boos in the Saturday night boxing ring when an official was announced as Argentinian. At a spot-check of half a dozen venues around the Olympic Park on Monday, the reception for Chinese athletes announced to the crowd seemed no more or less effusive than for other nations, even when, as with the track cyclist Guo Shuang, they were a threat to a British favourite, in this case, Victoria Pendleton.
A more combative atmosphere could be found in the basketball arena, where Britain's men were en route to a surprise victory against a Chinese team.
Here, a number of red-and-yellow Chinese banners were hung from the stands, alongside the ubiquitous Union flags.
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Pro-British chants were met by an equally vocal response from Chinese fans. Sun Jeanyu, a year-old restaurant owner, had the dual perspective of Chinese origin — and a red shirt proclaiming his allegiance — along with an upbringing in his home country of France.
London is such a cosmopolitan city, so there's people from all over the world. I think the Chinese populations from every European city are here at the moment.
Sharon Leach, from Woking, Surrey, had watched the China-Japan hockey game with her daughter and son-in-law and had a different take on the crowd to Guo and Luo. These are athletes who have tried as hard as they can, so they all deserve our support. For the Chinese people, the Beijing Olympics of were a century-old dream come true.
These years were a time of both drastic upheaval and dramatic development for China. It was also a tortuous journey for the nation.
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The last emperor was toppled; a republic was set up in its place; a parliamentary system was brought in from the West. But none of this helped the Chinese people, who lived a miserable life amid warfare and deprivation. Reform and opening-up transformed China into an international success story. This is because we have learned the best of other civilizations, and creatively applied them to fit the national conditions of China. This has allowed China's socialist market economy to prosper hand in hand with the development of democracy and rule of law.