Chinese Athletes are Run Into the Ground – Ching-Ching Ni

From LA Times:

Guo Ping was just 9 when she started training as a marathon runner. By the time she was 16, she had gone pro, getting up at 4 in the morning and sometimes running 40 miles a day on feet so swollen she could barely squeeze them into her shoes.

Although she harbored Olympic-sized dreams, the coal miner’s daughter thought she also had a good backup plan. If she couldn’t become the best of the best, she could always retire from sports and get a government job as a police officer.

That promise by her coach, she says, helped her endure a brutal training regime in which she and other runners had no contact with the outside world and no one to protect them from the coach, who beat them with a whip or baton, or knocked them off their feet with the bumper of his car if he thought they were slacking off.

But four years after she retired at 26 with nothing but an elementary school and a body crippled by sports injuries, the former marathon champion says she has been duped.[Full Text]

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