We expended so many resources on athletics, and yet we can still sense how little of this has been shared with ordinary citizens. In our cities, we can see public exercise facilities, but in the countryside perhaps not even a single ping pong table is tough to find. This tells us that our “national system” for athletics is about using our national strength so that a few people can early gold and silver medals, about many people paying so that a few can perform. So, whether becoming a strong gold medal nation means that we’ve become a nation of strong athletics — this is something we have to hang a question mark over.
Of course we hope that China wins many gold medals, that it upsets U.S. dominance in the Games, and that we can hold our heads high in the arena of international sports. But we hope even more that we can also win a gold medal in the development of athleticism among ordinary people. I believe that when that time comes, when we have a solid foundation of society-wide sports involvement, then Chinese men’s soccer will no longer be as it is today, and that everyone will be able to taste the joy of sports.