The Chinese sports machine’s single goal: the most golds, at any cost — NYT

(Hannah Beech is New York Times’ Southeast Asia bureau chief. This piece first appeared in NYT’s July 29 edition.)

  • China’s sports assembly line is designed for one purpose: churning out gold medals for the glory of the nation. Silver and bronze barely count. By fielding 413 athletes in Tokyo, its largest ever delegation, China aims to land at the top of the gold medal count — even if the Chinese public is increasingly wary of the sacrifices made by individual athletes. “We must resolutely ensure we are first in gold medals,” Gou Zhongwen, the head of the Chinese Olympic Committee, said on the eve of the Tokyo Olympics …
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