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    19 Startling Facts About Chinese Olympic Training

    The training practices of other countries often go unnoticed, but it's time to bring awareness to some of the abusive conditions that Chinese Olympic Athletes are forced to train under.

    1. In 2008, 30,000 athletes trained full time for the Beijing Olympics

    2. Out of those 30,000 athletes, only 1/5 actually made it to the olympics

    3. The government begins recruiting children at ages as young as 6 for certain sports

    4. In the 2000 Sydney Olympics, one Chinese gymnast was stripped of her bronze metal because she was too young to compete in the olympics

    5. Chinese children are recruited for certain sports based on their future predicted height, weight, bone density, arm span, and flexibility.

    6. Once they have been recruited, children are sent to training camps and isolated from their family and friends

    7. Family tragedies and deaths are often hidden from children in training so as not to distract them.

    8. Chinese gymnasts are typically removed from their families to begin training in a camp between the ages of 4 and 8

    9. At the training camps, athletes sleep on iron bunk beds

    10. Sports Illustrated journalists have found evidence of many illegal and unethical practices surrounding Chinese Olympic Training, including performance-enhancing drugs and bought-out contracts.

    11. Many athletes are fed special diets with special herbs and exotic Chinese medicines

    12. Athletes are also restricted from use of technology while they train

    13. Olympic gymnast hopefuls in China sometimes train for up to 8 hours a day, 6 days a week.

    14. Basketball star Yao Ming was sent to a full-time sports academy at age 12, and admits that he didn’t even enjoy playing the sport until around age 18.

    15. Earning gold medals is only focus of the Chinese government; even silver medalists are looked down upon.

    16. China Sports Daily estimates that 80 percent of China’s retired athletes suffer from unemployment, poverty or chronic health problems resulting from overtraining.

    17. Chinese ex-Olympians sometimes end up as beggars due to their limited skill set and lack of government support

    18. Meanwhile, athletes who win the gold are showered in praise and rewards and are provided with a free education to make up for the school they have missed

    19. If the public continues to ignore these issues, China's harsh training practices will continue