SPORT

China plans to make it extra special

FUTURE PERFECT: A young boy, who is concentration personified, practices on the parallel bars during gymnastics training in Beijing. He is one of thousands in China’s state-run sports school system, which aims to groom promising children into top level athletes.

FUTURE PERFECT: A young boy, who is concentration personified, practices on the parallel bars during gymnastics training in Beijing. He is one of thousands in China’s state-run sports school system, which aims to groom promising children into top level athletes.   | Photo Credit: — PHOTO: AP

Kamesh Srinivasan

The essence of the mammoth effort comes from Discovery Channel

NEW DELHI: The sporting world is waiting with bated breath for the best party on the planet that China would be throwing up shortly, and the expectations are running sky high.

The Olympic Games have been an improvement with every edition, and the Chinese plan to take it to a phenomenally different level, both in terms of organisation and performance in the current edition.

The Discovery Channel has risen to the challenge in capturing the essence of the Chinese effort with a four part series, appropriately titled, ‘Ultimate Olympics’, that would be telecast every Monday at 9 p.m. from July 14.

The Olympics may be scheduled from August 8 to 24, but watching the footage that has been painstakingly and meticulously put together over a long period by the Discovery team, that had special permission to capture the Chinese preparation among others; you are left with little doubt about what is in store. The ultimate Olympics, and nothing less.

Massive scale

The Chinese have been training kids in over 3000 sports academies, and have very well understood the technique of reaching quality from quantity in producing champions on a massive scale.

Obviously the Chinese are aiming to top the medals table after having finished second to the US in Athens in 2004. The Chinese had conceded a four-gold margin to the US then, and the fear is that they may overwhelm the rest of the world this time.

The Chinese may have believed in punishing training schedules for sporting excellence, but that has become a thing of the past, as they train smart, focusing on every aspect including the key to best performance, recovery.

We are told that the Chinese have gathered knowledge from the rest of the world, and have used their ancient technique, in providing a ‘distinct Chinese twist’, to give themselves the advantage of the best of both the worlds.

The Chinese may not freeze at the moment of reckoning, as they have understood the technique of the release of blocks in the human system to ensure a smooth flow of energy in the athlete’s body for optimum performance under pressure.

To them, the secret is to ‘yearn for victory, rather than fear losing’.

Apart from focusing on the preparation of the athletes, from China in particular, and leaping for comparisons with those in other continents thousands of miles away, the program ventures to show the manner in which the 1.3 billion Chinese people are getting ready to provide a predominantly Chinese spectacle for about four billion viewers around the world.

The mobile television that will provide ‘live’ television coverage on mobile phones with the help of path-breaking technology will be another wonderful first in the Beijing Games.

Multi-billion dollar efforts have been made not only to build breathtaking stadiums, nicely aligning them on the Beijing grid, envisioned as far back as in 1267, but also to wipe pollution from the Beijing sky or for that matter introduce the Olympic sub-way, an underground railway system, and the largest in the world running 600km with four lines.

They have not hesitated about shifting one of the world’s biggest steel plants that employs 260,000 workers, in a bid to cut down the toxic emissions into the Beijing sky.

Technological marvel

While the shuttlecock shaped badminton stadium will be a technological marvel, the 9300 air-conditioning fans subtly positioned to ensure the flow of air well within the stipulated limits in the playing arena exemplify the care and understanding of the architects to meet the exacting standards.

The venue based weather forecasts will be appropriate as Beijing will be providing a taste of its monsoon to the athletes of the world, and technology will be used in the form of cloud seeding through 7000 anti-aircraft guns that would blast silver iodide over pockets of clouds, to ‘influence weather’.

The enormous security system would also incorporate the ‘facial recognition’ method that would instantly match every face, to a huge database, irrespective of the face sporting an altered look!

In short, when you are waiting for the Games to begin, it would be a good idea not to miss the program on Discovery. It will make it easier to discover China then. Go Beijing!

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