STUDY IN CONTRASTS
The spectacular Olympics in China closed this weekend, and it's been quite a show. And like millions of Americans, I've watched the Olympics in China with pride and joy as U.S. athletes competed in a wide variety of sports with the best from across the world, especially from China. China won the global race with the most gold medals, with the U.S. leading in overall medal count.
"You can’t look at the U.S. Olympic team and not see the strength that comes from diversity, and you can’t look at the Chinese team and not see the strength that comes from intense focus and concentrated power.
Let’s start with us. Walking through the Olympic Village the other day, here’s what struck me most: the Russian team all looks Russian; the African team all looks African; the Chinese team all looks Chinese; and the American team looks like all of them."
Sends a tingle down your spine.
The piece offers a lot more detail in the contrast between the two countries, in how we compete in the Olympics. Taking a step back, it leads one to reflect on how the compact between citizens and their country differs in the two countries.
Perfect anecdotal example of this is how the two countries competed for gold in women's gymnastics.
While China harvests it's best future athletes from kindgartens, and separates them from their families to prepare them for global competition in a decade and a half or more, the U.S. approach relies on the best athletes and coaches from anywhere in America and/or the world, to make their way to America as immigrants and citizens, and find each other in a random, organic manner. Whether they're under-age or not is another controversy.
A lot more random, yes, but perhaps a lot more fulfilling for both the citizens and their families concerned. It's a fascinating study in contrasts.