OLYMPICS / Your Story

Thanks, foreign coaches

China Daily
Updated: 2008-08-24 09:28


The most illustrative case of how global sports has become is Lang Ping. Once China's favorite spiker on the national women's volleyball team, she is now the coach of the US women's volleyball team and helped it win a silver medal.

When she brought her team to Beijing, her homeland fans rallied behind her and ridiculed the few critics who suggested on nationalistic grounds, that she should not be giving her expertise in service to a foreign country.

"So what, aren't we hosting the Olympics?" people asked.

This was but one example of how globalization has grown into an inevitable trend, in sports as well as in many other things.

The same understanding and applause should be accorded to the Chinese coaches of the gymnastics and diving teams of many countries, all of whom competed tenaciously and superbly against their Chinese counterparts in this Olympics.

Just as Lang's homeland fans still love her, commentators in the Chinese language press have pointed out that China also has many foreign coaches working with the Chinese national sports teams. In fact, China has never employed as many foreign coaches as it has now.

"How happy it is to welcome friends from afar" was not just a quotation from Confucius, the great Chinese sage of 2,500 years ago. Nor was it just a slogan displayed in lights at the Olympics opening ceremony.

It has been daily practice in Chinese sports, and never have the results been as impressive as they are now.

In many events, Chinese athletes have made rapid progress and have reached the top echelons in team sports, fencing, boxing, archery, cycling, taekwondo, and water sports.

There are 38 foreign coaches working with Chinese national teams and quite a number of their athletes have earned Olympic medals.

When Zhong Man, China's top fencer, earned the gold medal in men's saber, he first thanked his French coach and praised him as "the best coach in the world."

Another legendary foreign coach is South Korea's Kim Chang-back, who helped China's women's field hockey team win the silver medal.

In archery, it would have been impossible for Chinese archer Zhang Juanjuan to outperform her South Korean rival to earn China's first-ever gold medal in archery without her coach Yang Chang-hoon, who is from South Korea.

There are even more foreign coaches who have been with Chinese athletes on a temporary basis. China thanks all the foreign coaches for having helped her athletes and for bringing new concepts and training methods to this country.

We look forward to hearing more success stories of Chinese coaches working abroad.

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