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A sports power and physically fit nation – Chinadaily.com.cn – global.chinadaily.com.cn

By Huang Haiyan | China Daily | Updated: 2022-10-22 08:59
China will launch extensive public fitness initiatives, improve physical education for young people, promote all-around development of recreational and competitive sports, and move faster to build China into a country strong in sports, said the report to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China on Oct 16.
During the past decade, China has made unprecedented efforts to become a leading global sports power. Thanks to these efforts, Chinese athletes have produced stunning results at sports events, the sports industry has grown by leaps and bounds, and sports culture has spread across the country.
In order to make China a leading sports power, the government has introduced mass fitness programs and policies. For example, by the end of 2021, the government had increased the number of sports facilities to 3.97 million, covering an area of 3.41 billion square meters, and raised the per capita area for sports facilities to 2.41 sq m. And to encourage more people to play sports or exercise regularly to maintain their physical health, the General Administration of Sport supports 1,200 to 1,400 sports venues to allow free or low-cost access to the public.
Besides, China has more than 48,000 sports organizations, and by the end of 2021, over 2.7 million sports instructors had earned certificates for physical and skill training from over 2,300 training centers.
Also, more than 100 million people participate in sports events every year. The national fitness program has helped millions of people to maintain or improve their physical health, and pilot projects for sports centers at the community level have enhanced people’s awareness about health. More than 500 million Chinese people, or 37.2 percent of China’s population, regularly do physical exercise, and over 90 percent of people reached the average physical standard level in 2020.
China has made remarkable achievements in competitive sports too. For example, China gave its best performance in an overseas Olympics at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games, equaling its London 2012 Olympics’ haul of 38 gold medals. In addition, in 2022 China competed in all the 15 disciplines of the Winter Games for the first time with the best ever result.
Athletes in a number of competitive sports have cleared the bottleneck and become leading global figures in their events. And the cross-sport recruitment system adopted by the government to realize the country’s sports ambitions has helped China make remarkable achievements in new Olympic sports and winter sports.
Besides, the rapid development of the sports industry has added to China’s sporting prowess, with the strengthening of supply-side structural reform and optimization of related policies not only accelerating the high-quality development of the sports industry, but also helping boost consumption and economic growth.
According to National Bureau of Statistics data, China’s sports industry was worth 2.73 trillion yuan ($380.49 billion) in 2020, with its added value being 1.07 trillion yuan. The gradual but steady integration of the sports, tourism, culture, education and elder-care industries has been stimulating domestic demand, prompting a number of private enterprises to enter the sports sector and make contributions to China’s economy.
New technology trends such as 5G, augmented reality and 8K have been playing vital roles in shaping the sports industry, which is concentrated in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the Yangtze River Delta region, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and the Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle.
Also, in the past 10 years, Chinese teams and athletes have reached notable milestones. For example, the Chinese women’s volleyball team won the gold medal at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016, reclaiming the title 12 years after the Athens Games in 2004. China also lifted the Women’s Volleyball World Cup with 11 straight wins in 2019. The spirit of the Chinese women’s volleyball team transcends generations and shows Chinese athletes’ spirit of fighting for the glory of the motherland in the new era.
Moreover, the Chinese mountaineering team completed the task of measuring the height of Qomolangma (Mount Everest) in 2020, which marked the 60th anniversary of the first successful Chinese expedition to Qomolangma from the Chinese side. That the team members stayed at the summit for a record 150 minutes to calibrate the mountain’s height by using a range of new technologies developed by Chinese researchers was in itself a remarkable achievement.
And the success of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games demonstrated the organizing capability of the Chinese authorities and the sportsmanship spirit of Chinese athletes who have always risen to challenges, pursued excellence and upheld the Olympic motto. The 2022 Winter Games also showcased a prosperous and open China.
The author is director of the Shanghai Collaborative Innovation Center of Sports and Health Industry at Shanghai University of Sport. The views don’t necessarily reflect those of China Daily.
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