Jun 20

“Pressure” for injured athletes

Written by: Buxi | Filed under:News | Tags:
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Today’s New York Times is running an article titled China Presses Injured Athletes in Quest for Gold. The article starts by discussing diver Hu Jia, who suffered from a detached retina several years ago, putting him at risk for permanent injury. This paragraph about sums up the message behind the article:

Pressured by the national athletic system and tempted by the commercial riches awaiting star performers in the 2008 Games, China’s athletes are pushing themselves to their limits and beyond, causing some to risk their health in pursuit of nationalist glory.

Seems to me the reader is supposed to feel pity for the Chinese athletes (and some outrage towards the Chinese sports authority), for risking their health for a goal as dubious as “nationalist glory”.

Five years ago, NBA player Alonzo Mourning was diagnosed with a serious kidney disorder, with doctors telling him he risked cardiac arrest every time he stepped on the floor. And yet, he risked his life to continue playing… in fact, even after an eventual kidney transplant, he still returned time and time again. The New York Times ran an article with this title at the time: Mourning’s Dedication Won Him Admiration. The Times didn’t seem too concerned, apparently, that Mourning’s agents and employers were pressuring him into risking death, all just in order to sell basketball shoes and entertain basketball fans.

I can’t dispute the facts that the New York Times have laid out in today’s article… I suspect many Chinese athletes do indeed face pressure to win, just as athletes around the world face pressure. But for those Chinese athletes who are fighting through injury to win gold in front of their countrymen this summer, I just want to say: you don’t deserve pity. Your dedication is winning our admiration.

Jun 20

Do you like the new theme (and a delayed update)?

Written by: admin | Filed under:General | Tags:, ,
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It has been almost 3 weeks since we moved and I promised to post an update. Better late than never. 😉

As I mentioned in a previous post, the purpose of the move was two fold. One is to bypass the GFW blocking for readers in mainland. The second is to change our previous domain name speak4china to a meaningful but less overarching one.

Most readers liked the name foolsmountain. For Chinese readers, 愚公移山, 精卫填海 are well known stories. For non-Chinese, a quote from Sydney Smith may carry a similar spirit, “It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do a little. Do what you can.”

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