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had a deep conversation with the frustrated Yang after the loss

Time:2019-09-29 13:10Shoes websites Click:

Sports-Olympics-China

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By Xinhua sportswriter Xiao Shiyao, Ding Wenxian, Li Li

BEIJING, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- The Five-Starred Red Flag fluttered across the Maruzen Intec Arena with the resounding "March of the volunteers" echoing, chanting for another glorious victory in the history of the Chinese sports as China women's volleyball team stormed to the World Cup champions with ten straight wins in Osaka, Japan on Saturday.

"Everytime we play, we hold the same determination to raise our national flag and play the national anthem," Lang Ping, China women's volleyball team head coach, noted at the beginning of the tournament.

With two days to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, the team of illustrious past has given its home country a timely and inspiring birthday gift.

For a nation once labelled as the "Sick Man of East Asia", Sports has a great significance that goes beyond itself. During the country's 70-year leaping development, Chinese sports have always been an indispensable role in motivating generations after generations.

Emerging from scratch

"The Spirit of China Women's Volleyball Team," known for hard work and never giving up, is undoubtedly one of the greatest representatives of Chinese sports, which was all originated from a rough training center built of bamboo in Zhangzhou, Fujian province.

"The training center was built in 1972. It consisted of five bamboo scaffold courts with cement floors. The players were bleeding every time they fell down as gravels scraped their arms and legs," Zhong Jiaqi, the former head of Zhangzhou volleyball training center, recalled.

In the year of 1976, when Yuan Weimin, China's women volleyball head coach then, and the 16-year-old Lang Ping met at the training center for the first time, neither of them realized that a great chapter to unfold.

"We didn't know [if we could compete in the world]. The coach challenged your limits in every training session. Sometimes, I had to practice spiking from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m.," said Lang, whose "grueling training" memories resonated by many Chinese athletes of that era, when the training conditions of the young and impoverished country were far behind the world.

"We were given two suits of clothes and two pair of shoes every year. The shoes scuffed quickly and raised many blisters on my heels, while the clothes needed to be mended multiple times," said Fang Fengdi, who shares the same age as her country, captained China's women basketball team in late 1970s.

Despite innumerable obstacles of the early days, sports started to emerge from scratch in China.

In 1952, Chairman Mao Zedong set the principle of "promoting physical culture and sports; strengthening the people's physique."

In 1959, Rong Guotuan won the men's singles at the 1959 world table tennis championship in Germany to be the first world champion representing the new China.

One year later, the Chinese mountaineering team completed the historic reach to the summit of Qomolangma via the north face.

"We knew we were left behind. We worked as hard as possible in order to catch up with the world level," said Fang, who led her team to clinch its first ever Asian champions in 1976.

Fang retired in 1979 when she turned 30, leaving a regret that not being able to participate in the Olympics."The athletes of my generation could hardly remain in the high level after 30s due to the lagging medical conditions," She added.

In the year of Fang's retirement, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) passed a Nagoya resolution in Nagoya, Japan, restoring the rights of the Chinese Olympic Committee within the IOC.

After two decades of isolation, Chinese sports eventually integrated into the globe, with an widely-known slogan of that time "break Asian records and set sights on a world level in sports."

"I felt happy for the young athletes as they could see more of the world," Fang said, with a grin on her face.

Progressing in the world

Lang Ping and her teammates, after five years of endeavors, set their first sight on the world in 1981 when they took seven consecutive wins to lift the World Cup trophy in Japan.

They conquered the Los Angeles Olympic Games, two World Championships and two World Cups between 1981 and 1986, along with China's rise in the world sport.

"I have many good memories as a player and then as a coach. The 1984 Los Angeles Olympics is the special one for me. It was my first Olympic games," the "Iron Hammer" Lang recalled many years afterwards.

In 1984, Chinese delegation returned back to the Summer Olympics and unprecedentedly ended the gold drought by Xu Haifeng, who won the 50m pistol final at the event.

Xu, in retrospect, initially didn't know it as the first gold medal of the country. "Until a reporter told me that all the newspapers in Beijing were sold out. My scalp tingled," he said.

At that year, Fang Fengdi watched the Olympic Games on the television with her four-year-old son together, whose name is Yao Ming, a later household name of the country.

At that year, the nine-year-old girl from northeast China Yang Yang started her ice skating training. "I want to be the same as Xu and Lang when I grow up," she said then.

The Olympic successes, along with China's rising economy, have instilled new confidence to the Chinese people to host an Olympic Games.

Beijing lost its first bid in 1993 to host the 2000 Olympics. Eight years later in 2001, the IOC awarded the 2008 Olympic Games to the Chinese capital.

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