There was an article in the IG magazine, November issue, on the hash training practices in the East, Asia and Europe, not just China like jaycej says. But maybe the conditions are changing faster and better in Europe than in China, like how the Swiss women get their coach out.
There's another article on the Chinese sports training system on USA Today: "China ties Olympic gold to quest for worldwide esteem" - http://www.usatoday.com/sports/olympics/2007-06-13-china-sports-schools-1a-cover_N.htm
A flash photo video: http://www.usatoday.com/sports/gallery/2007/s070614_chinaoly/flash.htm
They say their sport system is styled to the Russian system, as they wanted to concentrate not just on academics, but also have sport in China.
Hope for reward through sport:
"I hope he'll be a champion; this place can develop him," says Sun's mother, Zhao Shixia. "Everyone said it was the best at table tennis and other sports. He needs to be conscientious. I hope we'll get some payback."
Behind closed doors.
[quote]A visit to Shichahai provides a rare glimpse into China's training of its athletes, which is mostly secret.[/quote]
Taking the saying no pain no gain too far.
[quote]Some young Chinese athletes say they are accustomed to some abuse but defend the practice as part of training to be the best.
"I have been kicked and slapped when I didn't try hard enough," Sun says. "It hurts and I cry sometimes, but next time I try harder. The coaches are good. They are trying to help me."
School director Liu Hongbin says abuse isn't condoned: "However, the concept of beating and abuse are different in different cultures and countries."[/quote]
Selection based on body type.
[quote]Each year, authorities identify children who show athletic promise to train in sports schools, often in sports unknown to most Chinese.
Kayaker Zhang Jinmei says she fell out of a kayak as a teenager when a coach took her out for a trial run in Qinhuangdao.
"I had never rowed a boat before; I didn't know what a kayak looked like," Zhang says. "And I couldn't even swim."
The former discus thrower says she was picked for kayaking because she is "tall and stout, with good upper-body strength." Now 25, Zhang won a 2004 World Cup race and hopes to win an Olympic medal next summer.
Government funding for Chinese elite athletes. Annual budget for Beijing's sports schools risen by up to 5% a year since 2001, when they got chosen host of the 2008 Games.
[quote]China does not make public what it spends on sports programs, but Steve Roush, the USOC's chief of sport performance, estimates China is spending $400 million to $500 million to train elite athletes in the four years leading up to the 2008 Games. That doesn't include younger athletes training in sports schools. The USOC and the sports' national governing bodies will spend $200 million to $225 million during that period, Roush says.
Much of China's funding for the Beijing Olympics is going to 100 to 150 athletes, while the USA is funding 2,500 to 3,000 potential 2008 Olympians, Roush says. "I think now they are targeting their very best with the most resources."
In the USA, trials will be held in many sports next year to help determine who will be on the Olympic team. In China, Olympic team members are identified much earlier, most of them having trained in the sports schools, Roush says.
"In our selection method, we need to support a broad-based number of athletes," he says. "In other countries, they can already have selected who they're taking to the Games and can be focusing their resources on much smaller numbers."[/quote]
Pressure for gold.
[quote]He, the Beijing bureau official, says Chinese officials "only speak about gold. If you are second, you are a loser."
Recently, however, Beijing has played down its focus on winning gold medals.
"We have never said we were aiming for the top spot, only that we would try our best to perform well and seek to finish among the front-runners," says Chen Zhili, vice president of Beijing's 2008 organizing committee. "Winning gold medals is not the be-all and end-all. The most important thing is participation."[/quote]
Athletes' health should be put first before this quest.
9-year-old Niu Sizhuo:
"I cry sometimes because I am tired. But I want to be a world champion," says Niu, a national champion who started boarding at the school when she was 5. "If I train hard, I think by the time I am 14 or 15 I'll realize my goal."
Besides sports training elementary students go to classes in literature, math, English, natural science, ideology and morality...some of the teachings:
[quote]" 'A severe teacher brings up brilliant disciples,' " Yu Xiaoyu, 15, who has made the national youth badminton team, says as he quotes a popular Chinese saying.
Sacrifice is part of the path to greatness, Shichahai director Liu says.
"We Chinese people are a nation that can eat bitterness, and our athletes can eat even more," Liu says.
"Our students want to be champions for our school, for Beijing and for the country. We teach them to be patriotic. If you win glory for the nation, the nation will reward you."[/quote]