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China and the Olympics

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I read somewhere that China wants to be the #1 medal country in the Olympics in overall medals. To me, that shows that the Chinese are a bit delusional. Do they lead in overall medals after week one? Yes, they did in Beijing and London, but the United States eventually blows them away in week two due to one sport: Track and Field. The United States won 29 medals in Track and Field in London (three by Allyson Felix) and China only won six.

So when watching Rio in four years and you see the Chinese lead in the overall medals over USA after the first week, I would not worry about it. Track and Field will increase the American medal count by a whole lot by the closing ceremonies. When the United States crushes China in the overall medals by a wide margin (thanks to Track and Field), China will most likely continue the delusion that the are the world's #1 sports superpower, when clearly they are not.

So as long as track and field is in the Olympics, China will never win the overall medal count in the Summer Olympics. To be honest, I don't ever see China improving as a track and field nation unless they naturalize a bunch of foreigners (which is unlikely to happen).

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Funny that the US is so dominant in track, and that’s the venue that is the trickiest to make real near all potential hosts.

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Funny that the US is so dominant in track, and that’s the venue that is the trickiest to make real near all potential hosts.

In the US, track isn't the high profile sport. Ask any mainstream American sports fan to name at least six American track stars and they will probably name: Jesse Owens, Flo Jo, Jackie Joyner Kersee, Carl Lewis, Michael Johnson and (unfortunately) Marion Jones. Yes, there is Bruce Jenner, but I highly doubt the mainstream American sports fans know him Track and field other than he was an Olympian who married into the talentless Kardashian family. Also, any American city that bids for a Summer Olympics will likely use the Olympic Stadium for something else other than track (such as the case of Atlanta 1996). It didn't help that the drug suspensions that involved Jones and others played a role in the sport's irrelevance in the United States.

And the reason I chose Track and Field as the sport preventing Chinese dominance in the Summer Olympics is due to the number of medals given out to Track and Field. Basketball, Beach volleyball and Indoor Volleyball have six medals each. If China was to win four of the six medals in beach volleyball, and then sneak in to win four bronzes in Basketball and Indoor Volleyball, that still would not be enough for China to surpass the United States in the overall medals count because of track and field.

It would have to take the removal of track and field as an Olympic sport or the complete collapse of the American, Jamaican, Kenyan and Ethiopian teams and the sudden rise of Chinese Track and Field for China to surpass the United States in the overall medals.

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Why are people so miffed that another economic giant aspires to be no1 at the Olympic Games? The US is no stranger to this, with the bipolarity that went on between it and the USSR from London 48 up to Seoul 88.

I think the 21st century will see the growth in dominance of China at the Olympic Games, where they will come first in medals, and place higher at the Winter Olympics. I also believe we'll quite likely see both a Winter Olympics (Harbin 2026?) and second Summer Olympics (Shanghai 2048?) in China within 40 years.

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While China may never become a force in athletics, it isn't that farfetched to imagine China topping the medal tables if they continue to improve in swimming. The US won 31 swimming medals in London, compared to 10 for China. I doubt the Chinese have hit their potential in the pool, and if China had taken 10 swimming medals away from the US in London, they would have been #1 in overall medals.

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Why are people so miffed that another economic giant aspires to be no1 at the Olympic Games? The US is no stranger to this, with the bipolarity that went on between it and the USSR from London 48 up to Seoul 88.

I think if you were American you might be miffed, but there's no reason it should bother anyone else.

Except, of course, if you factor in the training methods used by the Chinese in some sports. A healthy competition between two heavy-weights would be good going into the future. Chinese domination supported by sometimes cruel training regimes would be the antithesis of what the Olympics should be about.

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Take a look at where China went from 2008 to 2012. Yes they won fewer medals and fewer golds in 2012 than they did at home in 2008. But in Athletics, they went up from just 2 medals in Beijing to 6 in London (4 of those coming in race walking for what that's worth). And in swimming, they went from 6 in Beijing to 10 in London including 5 gold. So clearly they're improving.

In terms of a rivalry with the United States, that could continue to develop. It's not like the old days of the old cold war rivalry when the USSR and USA were largely competing with each other. The United States will probably never be a force in sports like table tennis or badminton where the Chinese win a lot of medals. But I don't think it's so far fetched for China to think they'll be able to compete for the top spot on the medal tables for many Olympics to come.

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Between track and swimming, the U.S. won 60 medals in London, but IMO, it's a mistake to think that the U.S. will see the same success in the future, at least in track. The U.S. had its best performance in track in 20 years, which was due in part to a very strong performance in the field events. Most of the U.S. sprint stars in London are aging. Jeter is 32, Gay is 30, and Gatlin is in his late-20s. Felix and Richards-Ross will be in their 30s by 2016. The talent coming up behind these aging stars, to this point, has not been very strong. Just look at what happened in the men's 200m and 400m--not a single medal for the U.S. in two events that they used to dominate, and all of the young talent in these events is coming from the Caribbean. If the U.S. is going to win 25+ track medals in Rio, they're going to have to rely on the field and distance events to provide a significant share of the medals, because the talent pool in the sprints has been drying up.

I also don't see the U.S. men winning as many swimming medals as they have in the last several Olympics. Of the four U.S. men to win individual events this year, only Adrian is under the age of 27. Phelps is retired, and Lochte and Grevers will be 32 and 31 in 2016, respectively. There is a fair amount of talent coming up the ranks, but many of them have focused on the events in which Phelps did not compete, since there has essentially been only 1 spot available in those events for the last decade. I expect 2016 will be a "down" Olympics for U.S. men's swimming--I certainly don't see them winning more than half of the golds and nearly half of the medals overall as they have in the last 3 Games.

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Between track and swimming, the U.S. won 60 medals in London, but IMO, it's a mistake to think that the U.S. will see the same success in the future, at least in track. The U.S. had its best performance in track in 20 years, which was due in part to a very strong performance in the field events. Most of the U.S. sprint stars in London are aging. Jeter is 32, Gay is 30, and Gatlin is in his late-20s. Felix and Richards-Ross will be in their 30s by 2016. The talent coming up behind these aging stars, to this point, has not been very strong. Just look at what happened in the men's 200m and 400m--not a single medal for the U.S. in two events that they used to dominate, and all of the young talent in these events is coming from the Caribbean. If the U.S. is going to win 25+ track medals in Rio, they're going to have to rely on the field and distance events to provide a significant share of the medals, because the talent pool in the sprints has been drying up.

I also don't see the U.S. men winning as many swimming medals as they have in the last several Olympics. Of the four U.S. men to win individual events this year, only Adrian is under the age of 27. Phelps is retired, and Lochte and Grevers will be 32 and 31 in 2016, respectively. There is a fair amount of talent coming up the ranks, but many of them have focused on the events in which Phelps did not compete, since there has essentially been only 1 spot available in those events for the last decade. I expect 2016 will be a "down" Olympics for U.S. men's swimming--I certainly don't see them winning more than half of the golds and nearly half of the medals overall as they have in the last 3 Games.

The US will mow everyone down in swimming and T&F in 2016 and ALL FUTURE SOGs. Will slow down when they give the SOGs back to the US.

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Most Chinese people don't really care about track and field. We love table tennis far more. LOL

Exactly. T&F can be VERY boring. I mean any old greyhound can run around a track 30x; and probably have more sense to lay down when tired than these runners who just go for a piece of tin.

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Its nt boring unless its extremely long distance.

I always find the shortest and most prestigious of all, the 100m, to be a letdown. One inhale of breath and it's all over!

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