chapter  4
24 Pages

The National Games and China’s Olympic Strategy in the post-1980s

China's success in mega-sports events was regarded as a form of soft power for the nation-state and the rising of 'international prestige, status, and legitimacy'. The Olympic Strategy clarified the relationship between the hosting of the National Games and the attending of the Olympic Games: 'train athletes at home' (the National Games) and 'compete against the foreign competitions'. The Chinese government took the opportunities of hosting the National Games to prepare Chinese athletes for the Olympics so they could achieve a high ranking at the medal tally. The reformed competitive sports of the National Games illustrated its close association with the Olympic Games. From the Sixth National Games in 1987, each of the Organizing Committees of the National Games began to produce an official theme song for the games, like the Olympics did. Susan Brownell has pointed out that the opening ceremony attracted the largest single audience among all Olympic events.