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The Olympics in China

Final presentation for Modern Chinese History.
by

Julia Puzara

on 27 October 2011

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Transcript of The Olympics in China

China And The Olympics For China the Olympic dream was much more than just a sporting event, the Olympics were a way to overcome the past and travel into the future. It was more than just a competition but a turning point after which the history of China would be fundamentally different. It was an opportunity for China to become a respected member of the global community. Before The Olympics: Why China Needed a win: for the first part of the 20th century the Olympics were very Western oriented, most of the Olympics were hosted by countries either in the U.S. or Europe
as modern Olympics advanced they became a useful way for host countries to fulfill political agendas
the Olympics became a club that many countries including China felt they needed to be a part of, a validation 3 Questions: The Games in Seoul and Tokyo: Failed Bid: The Olympic Tradition:

The Beijing Olympics: Controversy: The Opening Ceremony: Transforming Tienanmen: What The Olympics Meant
to the People of China: China As a Brand: After the Games: Positive Views
on The Games: Negative Views on
The Games: Going Forward: 'The Goal of the Olympic movement is to contribute
to building a peaceful and better world by educating
youth through sport practiced without discrimination
of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship,
solidarity and fair play' -The Olympic Charter ZHANG Boling was an influential Chinese educator who learned of the modern Olympics on a trip to England in 1908. Zhang introduced the idea to students at Nankai university: who then held a presentation that became famous for asking "The Three Questions about the Olympics':
1. When would China send its first athlete to participate in the Olympic games?
2. When would a Chinese athlete win their first gold medal at the Olympic games?
3.When would the Olympic games be held in China? •In 1932 China sent LIU Changchun, a sprinter to participate in the Olympics held in Los Angeles, LIU was eliminated in an early preliminary heat
•On July 29th 1984 XU Haifey a sharpshooter won China's first gold medal at another Olympic event held in Los Angeles
•It would be 100 years from the time of ZANG's discovery of the Olympics until the final question could be answered In 1964 Japan held the Olympic Games in Tokyo, this became a very important event that successfully introduced Japan to the West and had a large positive effect on Japan's economy
In 1988 Seoul welcomed the Olympic Games to South Korea and this in turn worked to close a problematic chapter of South Korea's post- war history and improve their relations with countries like the Soviet Union and the P.R.C., introducing South Korea as a modern, developed state China placed its’ first bid to host the Olympics in 1993
ultimately lost the bid to Australia which was embarrassing to the Chinese as Australia had already hosted the Olympics once before and the I.O.C. president had named China as a favorite
we might be able to attribute this loss to a letter sent to the I.O.C. from the U.S. Congress voicing its’ concerns about the Olympics being held in a country with such ardent violations of human rights; Australia was ultimately a safer bet for the Olympics China had a reputation as the 'sick old man' of Asia due to its turbulent past that included events such as:
•the occupation of China by outside bodies for the previous 300 years
•the Anti-intellectual Movement in 1957
•the Great Famine from 1960-1962
•the Cultural Revolution from 1966-1976
•the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989 These events among others had tainted the world's view of China and had taken a great toll on the Chinese people and their sense of a national identity and pride about staging a spectacle to introduce the world to China's culture
'the world gives China 16 days and we give the world 5,000 years'
staged and planned impeccably by Chinese film director Zhong Imo
ceremony began with the crowd chanting 'we are ready' the decision to hold the Olympics in Beijing was strongly criticized because of China's numerous human rights abuses and environmental issues
"The Committee looks forwards to the day when the Olympics will be held in Beijing. China is one of the world's great civilizations, rich in history and culture. Its people are among the most dynamic its athletes among the most talented. But, regrettably, its government is among the most tyrannical. Denying China the Olympics would affirm the principle of right over might. China should earn the games not because of its size or economic strength, but by virtue of its commitment to human rights and to upholding the Olympic ideal."- U.S. Congress House of Representatives
China's Olympics were even compared to the 'Nazi Olympics' of 1936, in terms of issues of morality and concerns of what could happen by supporting a corrupt government through the Olympics
there were small signs of political change before the Olympics, the Chinese support of the Khartoum regime in Darfur, which China at first refused to change, but due to outside pressures and China wanting to ensure Olympic success, led to a Chinese mission to Darfur, to examine the issues more closel, a small step, but important
ultimately despite concerns and much protesting outside of China, once the Olympics reached China, things went relatively smoothly due to China's strict policing of internal affairs
China made it clear protests could only take place in specific designated protest zones with a permit, but despite 77 requests the Chinese government refused to grant a single permit With the Olympics, China was trying to put distance between the modern state and the past, particularly the Tiananmen Square Massacre
By staging a celebration for the Olympics in Tiananmen Square, Beijing essentially reclaimed the space, changing the memories of this site from tanks and violence, to peaceful celebrations games represent a promise of a better future for the people of Chia overwhelming 94% of Beijing citizens voted in favor of hosting the Olympics
negative media attention was not well received by the Chinese people, who thought it was an attempt to sabotage their games
important to the Olympic Committee that many Chinese people attended the games, in 2006 the Olympic Organizing Committee announced that ticket prices would be low to ensure the Chinese citizens were able to attend
the Olympics really represented a chance for the Chinese people to claim and be proud of a national identity "We aim to upgrade the opening up of Beijing to a new level through the hosting of the Olympic Games and display to the world a new image of China which is developing rapidly and opening wider to the outside world"- Beijing Olympic Action Plan, 2003 by hosting the games China introduced the world to its culture and positive traits as a way to create economic opportunity
studies have shown that people are less likely to travel to places they see as having a cultural distance to themselves, China was trying to give the world an increased knowledge of its culture, so in the future people would expect cultural differences but not see them as a barrier
winning the bid for the Olympics meant the country would undergo a huge facelift, infrastructure changes that might otherwise take decades happened rapidly "Through hard work, the Chinese people achieved the Chinese nation's hundred-year dream... We have met our commitments to the world and added the Chinese seal to the history of the modern Olympic movement.. this is another great achievement on the way to national revival." Hu Jintao, China's President China did very well in the sporting events winning 51 gold medals (more than any other country) giving the Chinese people a new set of national heros
with one billion viewers the opening ceremony was the most watched event in television history
games unified and inspired other Asian countries, although it never came to fruition, North and South Korea agreed to compete as a single team, this would start the process of building a bridge for the reunification of Korea through sport one major criticism of the Olympics was the strong policing, the tightly wound strings of the government caused people to compare the Olympics to those of 1936 and label the Chinese government 'control freaks'
although some positive change was made at the Olympics there needs to be more
pressure from the outside world on China to improve their human rights and environmental issues needs to be continued
as China meets old goals new goals need to be set
possibly the Olympic spirit will make the Chinese people stronger and as was the case after the Seoul Olympics, the Chinese people, liberated by such a successful event will have the strength to stand up to their government and finally achieve a political system that works for the people of China
It will take time to see the full effect the Olympic event will have on China
Essay Question:


The Beijing Olympics represented a hope for China to move forward into a new, more successful chapter in their history, do you think this goal will be achieved in the future (base your answer on at least three separate points)?
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