Citius, Altius, Fortius: faster, higher, stronger
Steinbrenner, Todd James
Miller, Alice (Lyman)
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Chinese elite female athletes have experienced extraordinary success in international athletic competitions. Since 1992, elite women athletes have been more represented and successful in the Olympics and National Championships then men; while accounting for less than 50 percent of the elite athletes in China, and competing in less Olympic events, in the Olympics, women were represented in less than 50 percent of the events until 2012. Concisely, the rise of Chinese female athletic participation and success in international competitions has become the backbone for Chinas rise to sports relevance, and has been unlike historical Western nation-states experience in athletics. This historical examination chronologically documents the rise of Chinese elite female athletes and the policies affecting athletes from 1949 to the present, and reveals a connection between female athletic success and state enforced gender equality policies that targeted culture, education, and labor. Through gender equality policies, men and women were uniformly exposed to a national sports system that invested in research, training, equipment, recruitment, and incentivizing athletes to win honors for the country. Moreover, this examination evaluates various hypotheses on what Chinese policies, if any, have produced these extraordinary results, and proposes the sports system, although exceptionally successful, is ultimately imbalanced and plateauing, while the Chinese Communist Party desires participation, power, and control at the expense of possible broad athletic victory.
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