In July 2007 the International Olympic Committee established the Youth Olympic Games (YOG), an international sports, education and cultural festival for teenagers.
On February 10, 2010 the IOC during their 122nd Session in Vancouver city elected Nanjing city in China, to host the second Summer Youth Olympic Games. The Games officially known as “II Summer Youth Olympic Games” were held from August 16, 2014 to August 28, 2014. In the logo for the Games, the colourful “NANJING” reflects the image of the gate of Nanjing and the features of some Jiangnan houses. The various colours symbolize the energetic spirit of youth.
In whatever task the Chinese undertake, they exhibit their talent par excellence.
I wonder whether there is anything the Chinese cannot do!
At the opening ceremony of the II Summer Youth Olympic Games, about 500 Chinese youths performed a scintillating ingenious performance. They called the event “Dancing in the Sky.”
After forming a pyramid, 100 youths took to the air inside the immense sports stadium.
There, under the artificial stars they performed a breathtaking kaleidoscopic aerial acrobatic routine.
This is the first time a creative performance, such as this has been performed anywhere in the world.
Here is a video clip of their awe-inspiring performance.
The 16-year-old, Ye Shiwen of China known as the ‘Mandarin Mermaid’ swam faster than US superstar Ryan Lochte. “It was pretty impressive. And, it was a female. She’s fast. If she was there with me, I don’t know, she might have beaten me” Lochte said.
Ye Shiwen said her extraordinary swim was the result of “hard work and training”.
In an effort to transform China into a global athletic power, the state-run athletics programs with a single-minded fixation on winning gold medals, earmark potential champions at a young age. Then, they haul those children away to camps and subject them to gruel training with its tough Soviet-style fitness programs.
At the London Olympics China’s star diver, 26-year-old Wu Minxia became the first diver ever to win golds at three consecutive games in the 3-meter synchronized springboard. She sacrificed her school education and family life to win the gold for her country.
Since the age of six, Wu trained daily at a diving camp and at 16 she had to move away from her family to live in a state-financed sports academy where training is grueling. She did not attend school. She had to dive all day for more than 10 years.
Wu Minxia rarely met her family members. Her parents followed her on Weibo, a Chinese microblogging site akin to a hybrid of Twitter and Facebook. In London, they could not meet her in person before the event. They watched their daughter perform from the stands. They had to withhold the news of her grandparents’ death for over a year. She was not even told that her mother had contracted cancer eight years ago. “We have known for years that our daughter did not belong to us anymore,” said Wu Yuming, her father.
Lin won a gold medal in men’s weight lifting. His father who had not seen him for six and a half years. He told reporters that he did not recognize his 23-year-old son until he heard his name mentioned on television.
Note: This five-part video presentation titled “How China trains (read: tortures!) its kids to become Olympic champions!” It vividly expounds the gruesome methods adopted by the Chinese coaches in training potential champions at a young age.
He competes in T44 (single below knee amputees) events though he is actually classified in T43 (double below knee amputee). He is the world record holder for T44 in the 100, 200 and 400 metres events.
In 2007, Pistorius took part in his first international competitions for able-bodied athletes. Many claimed that his artificial lower legs, provides him an unfair advantage over able-bodied runners. After monitoring his track performances and carrying out tests, scientists took the view that he enjoyed considerable advantages over athletes without prosthetic limbs. On the strength of these findings the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) amended its competition rules. It banned the use of
“any technical device that incorporates springs, wheels or any other element that provides a user with an advantage over another athlete not using such a device.”
The IAAF claimed that the amendment was not specifically aimed at Pistorius. However, on January 14, 2008 the IAAF ruled him ineligible for competitions conducted under its rules. That included the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Pistorius sought the help of sports lawyer Jeffrey L. Kessler, who has represented the NFL and NBA Players Associations. On May 16, 2008 the ruling of the IAAF was reversed by the Tribunal Arbitral du Sport. The Court ruled that overall there was no evidence to show that Pistorius had any net advantage over able-bodied athletes. Pistorius was given back his right to compete in the Olympics.
Although eligible to compete in the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, he did not qualify for the South African team. On 16 July 2008 he achieved third place and a personal best time of 46.25 seconds in the 400 metres in Lucerne, Switzerland. But this was short of the Olympic qualification time of 45.55 seconds. And for the 4 x 400 metres relay there were four other runners who achieved better timing.
He is now representing his country at the London 2012 Olympics.
A few months ago, Oscar ‘Blade Runner’ Pistorius met the chirpy 8-year-old Ellie May Challis.
Ellie May Challis was born in Essex, England in 2004. When she was just 16 months old, she was struck down with a near fatal case of meningitis. She survived; but the effect of the deadly septicemia bacteria was so severe that both her arms and legs had to be amputated.
Ellie was originally fitted with standard prosthetic legs. She found it difficult keeping up with her siblings (twin sister, Sophie and older siblings Tai-la,9 and Connor, 11) and other children her age.
Ellie’s community loved the little girl. They raised enough money for new carbon fiber prosthetic legs, same as those used by Paralympic sprinters. This makes Ellie the youngest person ever to have carbon fiber prosthetic legs.
On the first day to her school, Ellie walked on her own in her new carbon fiber prosthetic legs.
There are several advantages of using carbon fiber over fiberglass or Kevlar. Carbon fiber is extremely strong. It is much more lightweight and could be turned into very thin sheets. A major disadvantage, however, is that carbon fiber, when bent to a great extent, can break.
Ellie loves her new limbs. Within seconds of having them on, she was off. They will have to be replaced every two years as she continues to grow.
Here’s a video of Ellie learning to walk using the new carbon fiber legs:
When Oscar Pistorius and Ellie May met, knowing that both have been fitted with prosthetic limbs, they decided to challenge each other to a few races. Pistorius seemed to have underestimated Ellie. Just mere weeks after learning to walk with her new carbon fiber prosthetic legs, Ellie was able to beat Pistorius in all four of their 15-meter races!