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Ok, we need to talk about Paralympic China here!


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It´s really early at the paras, but one country needs to be aknowlwged for their insane jump in the Beijing winter: The hosts, China. In a single day, they not only bested their all time total medal count, they octoplied it. A print from wikipedia with their historic results:

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And as of now, they already added more to the count. It´s a GIANT leap from one games from the other, something really remarkable...but, unfortunaly, suspicions could arise from that. For comparisons, Russia winter paralympic exploits, with special eye in 2014;

 

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However, i actually hope the Chinese exploits in their home turf are legit, and with no proof for the contrary at the moment, nobody can truly deny them their newfound winter paralympic glory, an cristalization of their goal hosting this games: Becoming a Official Winter Sports Nation. All i can say it´s a jump so high it can cause suspicions. It´s kind of a archeviment by itself, really. But now, i give it to you.

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Day 2 update, while no medals today:

China has now 6 Golds, 4 Silvers and 6 Bronzes.

16 total. They now had beaten their total medal record ever in Winter Paralympics by 16 times.

Sixteen times. In two days!

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19 minutes ago, FYI said:

Well, let's also keep in mind that "roc", & Belorus, to a lesser extent, aren't there. 

Yes, their absence did make things easier but even then... The way they're going, it would be as impressive if they got half of they have now. It's an absurdly high jump.

Now, if you excuse me, Day 3 update: 7 G, 8 S, 10 B. They lead the medal table and in number of total medals (25) with a comfortable margin. The two other countries right behind them in the gold count are Ukraine and Canada with 4. That gap might increase further over time...

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Really no expert on para sports here, but if I may give my uneducated opinion here: para sports (and especially the winter version) under normal conditions probably attract only a handful few. Also, there is less sponsorship money and less political pressure involved. So once a nation gets to host that is probably the only time that creating paralympic champions is seen as a real political and economical priority.

And please do take this with a pinch of salt. I have never followed the Paralympics extensively and this time around I haven't watched any of it (due to the fact mostly that there's more relevant things happening on this planet right now to spend one's screen time on).

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4 hours ago, munichfan said:

Really no expert on para sports here, but if I may give my uneducated opinion here: para sports (and especially the winter version) under normal conditions probably attract only a handful few. Also, there is less sponsorship money and less political pressure involved. So once a nation gets to host that is probably the only time that creating paralympic champions is seen as a real political and economical priority.

You can´t just get 25 times more medals than you ever did just for show, and i belive, togheter with all that was the olympic ceremonies and the chinese performance in that as well, that the China plan here is to actually estabilish themselves as an Winter Sports Nation TM, to enter a "exclusive club" for good. And i can tell from my own country Paralympic wowes, in summer at least, that it depends of the country and how they treat disabled people, even if that last one is actually a not so major factor as it would seen; we would be talking about the bare minimum here. Public State-Owned Lottery profit distributions to your local National Paralympic Commitee can go a long way if the people in charge know what they doing, even if the paras don´t get a good showing in free over the air television. China must have found their own formula for the winter paras, and told nobody about it until now? Of course, the formula itself in China´s case is the actual mystery here...

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Just now, Guilga said:

even if the paras don´t get a good showing in free over the air television.

Of course, here i´m not talking about the State-Owned tv channels that do care about showing the paras; i´m talking about the one channel that does a extensive coverage of the olympic events and go silent when it´s paralympic time... Luckly their pay-tv channel does a good job at least.

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Day 4 update, since all medals today had been won already.

China still tops the table, but this wasn't a day of many podiums for the Chinese, just a gold and a bronze; due for both the fact that all medals came from the middle distance biathlon events, of which was 6 total, and Ukraine domination today.

Hoo boy, Ukraine decided to roll today, jumping to 6 golds and starting to threaten China dominant top position at the medal table. Out of 18 potential medals, they got 9, half of the whole thing, including two podium sweeps in Women's Middle Distance Standing and Men's Middle Distance Vision Impaired. Simply impressive! Canadá also got a bit closer to China too, they have 5 golds now after today. China of course, stands with 8. It promises to be a interesting race to the finish in the medal table, the traditional nations vs the rising star.

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https://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1120247/china-golds-beijing-2022

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Unknown quantity China enjoying unprecedented Winter Paralympic success on home snow

 
 

Having only won one gold in Winter Paralympic history, China has now won eight at Beijing 2022 ©Getty Images

China's unprecedented Winter Paralympic success shows no sign of letting, with American biathlon women's sprint sitting gold medallist Oksana Masters among those who referenced the "very surprising" nature of the host nation's achievements.

Prior to Beijing 2022, China had only ever won one medal at the Winter Paralympics - gold in the wheelchair curling at Pyeongchang 2018.

However, the Chinese have enjoyed a flurry of gold medals at the Games this year, beginning with Para biathletes Guo Yujie and Liu Zixu on the first day of competition on Saturday (March 5).

China have since added two further victories in Para Alpine skiing, two in cross-country skiing, one in snowboard cross and another in Para biathlon to take its tally up to eight.

On top of that, the home delegation have eight silver and 10 bronze medals to their name.

Host nations at Olympic and Paralympic Games do tend to fare well.

At the Winter Paralympics, five of the seven hosts since Lillehammer 1994 have finished in the top four of the medals table.

Four hosts of the Games have topped the standings, most recently Russia at Sochi 2014.

Pyeongchang 2018 proved a rare exception, with South Korea claiming only one gold and two bronzes.

However, China's meteoric rise has not gone unnoticed.

Masters had to settle for silver in the Para cross-country skiing women's long distance sitting on Sunday (March 6), losing out to home favourite Yang Hongqiong.

With China largely absent from international competitions, including January's World Para Snow Sports Championships, in the build-up to the Games, Masters recognised that the host nation's athletes represent something of an unknown quantity for many of the competitors at Beijing 2022.

Oksana Masters noted Oksana Masters noted "you never see them [Chinese athletes] until the Games", after their absence from international competitions including the World Para Snow Sports Championships ©Getty Images

"No, that's the thing about China, that they're very surprising every time," Masters said when discussing her knowledge of Yang from before the Games.

"You never see them until the Games.

"But they're very strong and they perform and know how to perform in the right races.

"They are great competitors."

Li Panpan also took bronze for China in the women's long distance sitting event, and Masters believes the hosts' athletes performances "will elevate the sport in China for the future".

A frequently repeated claim by the International Olympic Committee and International Paralympic Committee (IPC) throughout Beijing 2022 has been that the Games have helped to engage more than 300 million people in China in winter sports, a goal which was set by the Chinese Government as part of the successful bid in 2015.

Yang insisted that her gold proved that "China has unlimited potential for winter sports".

At today's press conference at the Main Media Centre in Beijing, IPC spokesperson Craig Spence credited China's success with its vastly increased team at Beijing 2022 and its talent pool.

"When China puts its mind to something it certainly delivers and that's shown in the results here," Spence suggested.

"In Pyeongchang, the Chinese team was 26 athletes, here it's 96, so it's 70 more athletes and that's why they are doing so well on the medal table.

"They've also got a huge talent pool to choose from. 

"I think it's between 83 or 85 million persons with disabilities in this country so that's an enormous talent pool to choose from and find the athletes."

Cross-country skiing women's long-distance sitting gold medallist Yang Hongqiong insisted Cross-country skiing women's long-distance sitting gold medallist Yang Hongqiong insisted "China has unlimited potential for winter sports" ©Getty Images

Beijing 2022 vice-president Yang Shuan claimed that the results were a vindication of China's Para sport programme.

"I believe you have seen the development of China's winter sports programmes for the disabled, which has been rapidly improved through the Beijing Winter Paralympic Games," Yang said.

"In past Winter Paralympic Games, China's disabled sports delegation participated in very few events, so this year we participated in all events.

"We provide for athletes with disabilities, including a wide range of disabled people. 

"They have a kind of self-improvement and a strong desire to participate in society, which is probably the main reason for the success."

China completed a podium sweep in the men's snowboard cross SB-UL, with gold medallist Ji Lijia commenting "our goal is to bring glory to our home country", and silver medallist Wang Pengyao similarly dedicating the achievement to "our home country".

Several commentators have speculated that an effective wax set-up could be aiding China's success.

Para biathlon men's middle distance sitting champion was also asked about China's success, and reflected: "China had never been strong in winter sports.

"The best result we had in cross-country at Pyeongchang 2018 was Zheng Peng’s fourth place.

"We’ve been longing to break that record for him.

"Now as you can see, our hard work paid off."

The Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympics are set to conclude on Sunday (March 13).

This article from Inside the Games goes from some details about Chinese rise in this games, talking about their rise and some reasons for that. Good article to get a read on about that, but i actually want to highlight a specific part of it;

Quote

With China largely absent from international competitions, including January's World Para Snow Sports Championships, in the build-up to the Games, Masters recognised that the host nation's athletes represent something of an unknown quantity for many of the competitors at Beijing 2022.

 

"No, that's the thing about China, that they're very surprising every time," Masters said when discussing her knowledge of Yang from before the Games.

"You never see them until the Games.

"But they're very strong and they perform and know how to perform in the right races.

"They are great competitors."

Li Panpan also took bronze for China in the women's long distance sitting event, and Masters believes the hosts' athletes performances "will elevate the sport in China for the future".

It´s amusing that the IPC haven´t made the call to make the World Para Snow Sports Champioships an qualifier to Beijing, and even more amusing that you can hide in the wild and still qualify to the games. Maybe make things more connected, geez! You should be known in international events to even be in medal contention level, right?

Still, don´t be surprised if their recent sucess becomes lasting; that may be very much the point of this games being held there after all... 

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Day 5, medals only at Cross Country Sprint today and China got another medal boost. Ukraine didn´t do as well as the previous day, Canada instead got two gold medals to herself but the hosts got not only more two golds, but a silver and a bronze. Today´s events medals were more spread between more nations, which is good for sharing but not exactly good for hoarding. Medal table right now:

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China gets a lead again, and Canada overtakes Ukraine for the second place spot. It´s doubtful if there is any real chance that someone beats the hosts in overall number of medals. Golds however is another story, and Canada might have better shots at being a real rival to China than Ukraine at this rate.

 

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Just read an article about China‘s gold frenzy in German magazine Spiegel.

They talked to the leaders of the German delegation and suggested that the classification of some Chinese athletes might be more favorable than it should be because unlike usually classifying athletes at international events prior to the Paralympics, Chinese athletes have been isolated the last two years due to Covid-19 and thus got their classification domestically. :huh: And rules are so that shortly before competition, the classification cannot be changed anymore.

That might be at least part of the explanation.

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24 minutes ago, StefanMUC said:

They talked to the leaders of the German delegation and suggested that the classification of some Chinese athletes might be more favorable than it should be because unlike usually classifying athletes at international events prior to the Paralympics, Chinese athletes have been isolated the last two years due to Covid-19 and thus got their classification domestically. :huh: And rules are so that shortly before competition, the classification cannot be changed anymore.

This might not matter as much as it should in the winter games, since most events groups the athletes of varying classifications into disability groups (Vision Impaired, Standing and Sitting) and most just factor their times acordding to the individual to form equity between the contestants, but the frozen classifications it´s a interesting point.

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And before i forget, Day 6 update: Only men´s Giant Slalom had finals, and so this make three sets of medals today. The top teams of the table haven´t got much to hoard today, overall it was a very diverse set of medalling countries today — Italy was the one with most podiums, but it was two silvers. Eight countries medallied today, with particular mention to the first Finnish gold medalist in Paralympic Winter Games:

 

Also, special mention to Latin America best standing ever in a Winter Paras; Enrique Plantey´s 4th place in the sitting category for Argentina. As a Brazilian, my congratulations. But now it´s time to analise the race. Not much has changed, save a extra bronze for China; Ukraine and Canada are a bit behind and China well ahead. But, whichever of the first two are able to challenge Chinese dominance will depend of tomorrow.

First, the standings at the top:

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China has 10 golds, with Canada 3 golds behind and Ukraine 4. What we have tomorrow in terms of medal events: Women´s GS, with China competing in pretty much all and Canada in the standing category; Para Biatlhon Individuals, in which we will have some direct confrontations between the three but it is definitely Ukraine last chance in rise to a opportunity of snatching the first place in the medal table, luckly they are pretty good on that; Banked Slalom, with a few Canadians, plenty of Chinese and again no Ukranians.

Outside of medal events, China and Canada face off in the Wheelchair Curling semifinals in a direct conforntation, and both will also play another semifinal matchups at the Para Iche Hockey tournament, China vs USA and Canada vs South Korea. The team sports can make a huge difference in who gets the top at the end, and also one of the reasons why Canada it´s the one who can really challenge China for the top spot. But, let´s the games speak for themselves.

 

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Day 7 update: WE ARE IN THE HOMESTRECH and the hosts might have it in the bag already! Ukraine indeed did well in biatlhon, as expected, but China did good today overall; if anything, Canada were the big losers today with no golds to spare even if they did got some silvers and bronzes and qualified to Para Ice Hockey finals — While all this, China got herself a spot in the Wheelchair Curling finals to defend her title, making Canada settle for a bronze by beating Slovakia later in the day, and got 4 Golds, 5 Silvers and 6 Bronzes. China did a hell of a jump, Ukraine fortunes in Biatlhon might have helped them regain second place but the Chinese had good fortune in almost everything else on the day. And the medal table will show.

At least Canada will face the USA in the Para Ice Hockey final for a consolation prize. You had a short but good run in the race.

Now, the standings rushing into the last weekend of the games:

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Ukraine has to beat a 5-gold medal difference to get to first place here. For Canada, it´s 7. And we aren´t even touching the total medals count that is chinese already for a looooong time already. Chinese athletes made almost twice as many podiums that Ukraine, podium sweeps notwithstanding. All events from now on will have medal stakes, since we are in the tail end of the games, let´s see what day 8 has to offer:

Women´s Slalom: Alpine events are indeed a dice roll, but i wouldn´t fancy Canada chances here over China given how this games are rolling.

Cross-Country Middle distance: I would fancy Chinese and Ukranian going higher than the very few Canadians across all events...

Para Ice Hockey: Bronze medal bout, China vs South Korea, i would guess the Chinese would get third here today. Had to be said that both teams recieved an 11x0 shakeup from USA and Canada, our eventual finalists that will compete in the final day. Still a better shot at a gold than anything else Canada will have today.

Wheelchair Curling Gold Medal Match: It´s a title defense brawl to China, who will compete with Sweden for the gold. China topped the round-robin stage while the swedes got third after tie-breaking shenaningans; they were one of the two teams that defeated China in round robin play, the other being Canada who winded up losing for the Chinese in the semis anyway. Might as well be destiny; letting one win just to seek revenge on where it really matters... If China wins, they will actually beat everyone else with a 10-win streak! Game to take a look on.

Things are going to end soon at the snowflake land, so we might as well prepare our farewells. However, the jump that China made this Paralympic Winter Games, an impressive jump at that, will make us see them in the snow for a long while starting now. I hope you liked the mountains of Zhangjiakou, the slides of Yanqing and the oval of Beijing, because we will have to become used to them if Chinese plan to become a Winter Sport Nation TM works...and it seems it had. BY A LOT.

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Day 8 update: China has gotten medals in the majority of the events today. Ukraine added a gold and two bronzes in cross-country, Canada only reaching one single gold and a silver also in cross-country. China has gotten medals in all sports in offer today, including the ice hockey bronze and wheelchair curling sucessful title defense; 4 of each kind for them. I think it´s not a exaggeration to say that China just won this paralympics. They had already won ever since they started steamrolling in the first few days, the biggest jump that you could see of a country hosting anything, Russia deciding to play warmonger with a unwilling Ukraine and some potential classification freezes notwhitstanding.

China is a sucess case for paralmpic hosts here, a huge one. The CCP claims about getting 300 million people in winter sports are likely dubious but these performances at the paralympics proves that they at least included disabled people at these figures and whatever they made to reach this level it paid off. HUGE TIME. They are the big winners here, even if a war overshadows this games. We have six medal events tomorrow and, as we will see at the medal table, China leads with a eight-gold advantage.

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LOOK AT THAT. JUST LOOK! The People´s(arguably) Republic(citation needed) of China has won the medal table by virtue of having more golds than anyone will have and the total medals count by EVEN FARTHER DISTANCES.

China is the new Paralympic Winter Super Power, not just a new competing nation. Let´s see if in 2026 this will hold up, but COME ON? You don´t get that much medals at once and dip to nothing right back, unless someone decided to take a page from Putin´s Playbook. And i hope that´s not the case.

Anyhow; last day events. Men´s Slalom, we will have a few chinese at the standing and sitting categories. Cross-country, it´s 4x2.5Km relay day in open and mixed varieties with Chinese, Canadians and Ukranians competing in both. Could be a fun direct confrontation if China hadn´t made the final leap foward today. Lastly, the gold medal decider in Para Ice Hockey that while won´t change the medal table that much, it will be the classic Canada VS USA rivarly, so look foward for it!

Hopefully i don´t get flagged as a sppamer for all this; it was fun analysing the medal race while following Chinese rise at the standings! It could be really fun to do that at the olympics too, imagine a Medal Table Race thread to everyone chime in and put their picks while the games are going? For now, i have to make a special thanks for the beijing2022.cn website that was actually useful this time with the Atos system compatibility. And for anyone who read all this, too! Happy last day!!

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I fail to get excited about that.

An authoritarian regime suddenly doing very well in Oly/Paralympics is not the first time to happen and from past history it is pretty safe say that something is very likely to be fishy here.

Also, I doubt that any of this success will lead to progress for disabled people in China in general.

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7 minutes ago, StefanMUC said:

An authoritarian regime suddenly doing very well in Oly/Paralympics is not the first time to happen and from past history it is pretty safe say that something is very likely to be fishy here.

Precisely, and i really hope that´s not the case here. If it is... we will discover the same way as we did after the 2014 games. And similar punisment have to follow, since we have the precedent already to when a state meddles too much into people´s dreams, even though that should have been harder in the last case? Anyway, that is a really valid concern and Chinese sucess will be the games main storyline, clean or dopped in the end of the day.

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