Olympics and physical education in china

Por: Yu Hua Zeng.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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The changes in economic structure and social system are indispensable in social evolution, in which physical education is one of the paramount, whose speed of pace is the most prominently fast. In retrospect, people’s participation, interpretation of Olympics made some gradational progress. From the "ignorance of Olympics", East Asian sick people" (used to be called by westerners) to Los Angeles Olympic Games, and the wonderful performances in the 9th, 10th, and 11th Asian Sports Games, with the most golden medals and the highest scores achieved, as well as some radical progress in some sports events which used to be backward in swimming, track and field, etc. And the most prominent accomplishment is the successful bid for the 29th Olympic Game. Those achievements reveal China’s participation in the world and an important role on the international stage. Those achievements indicate a history of the development of China in the sense of culture, which is a collision and mixture of Chinese and Western cultures.

Physical education is the core of Olympics. The essential purpose of the establishment of Olympics is to educate the youth and to promote the harmonious development of physical and mental health from a new perspective, thus to make contribution to the establishment of a better world.

Physical education in Chinese schools has undergone many changes. As a result of decades of exploration, it has become a cause attributed to hundreds of thousands of people in China. As a by-product of the influence from the Western culture in the 19th century, Olympics has gradually become popular among the Chinese people, which brings about the diversity of physical education in schools. With the progress in social culture, the guideline of physical education in China tends to be adaptable to the country and the tendency of school education in the world. In China, physical education is students-centered, and focused on the promotion of students’ health, which is an integrity of physical and mental health as well as the social adaptable quality. Physical education in China is aimed to build up life-long health and set premium on fostering the awareness of the necessity of long-long physical education as well as students’ motivation, habit and capacity concerned. With the increasing understanding of Olympics, more and more people come to realize that physical education is an important component of Olympics. It is designed not only for school education but also for whole society. Pierre de Coubertin, a French educator, the originator of modern Olympics called for "Physical Education for the Mass", which takes mass sports as the basis of Olympics. With the 2008 Olympic Games approaching, China is experiencing the unprecedented upsurge of nationwide mass sports. Due to the concept of "humanistic Olympics", the mass sports in China is to play an irreplaceable manner of cultural cultivation, which proves that Olympics is highly valued in physical, mental and ethical transformation. Such concept would be a unique legacy inherited from the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

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