Friday, August 08, 2008
The Olympics - Remembering China (2)
The Olympics start today, so here's a post about sports and Beijing, both of which come together in my gymnastics memories...
Every Saturday morning, my mum would drive us to a gymnastics center in Beijing for a couple of hours' fun. The Chinese teachers were ruthless with their local charges, children from all over the country who trained to be future Olympians - we witnessed their classes sometimes and would see tears dripping silently down tiny little kids' cheeks as they were twisted and forced into all kinds of postures.
With us, the teachers were just adorable and never pushed us hard at all. My sister (lower picture), age , with her flexible yet muscular little body, never one to shy from acrobatics, was a favorite whom the head instructor took care of personally, cheering at her exploits. As for me (top picture), nimble but weak, and struggling with growth spurts at the age of 9, I just had fun and longed for ballet, which I tried to recreate on the beam, my favorite apparatus.