There is less pressure on the country's athletes than beforeby Yuan Ren / August 19, 2016 / Leave a comment
China is not happy about its third place ranking in the Rio Olympics’ medal table. A look at the country’s media shows that the country is on edge—even experiencing angst—as a result of it. However, there is less nationalism than was witnessed during previous Olympic Games. In Beijing 2008 and London 2012 the Chinese public was obsessed with the tally of golds; “gold-losing athletes” were practically bereaved, and were berated for letting the country down. We obsessed about beating the United States—victorious uproars involving references to the “Century of Humiliation” erupted across a country hungry for glory and ascent.
This year, despite China being in third place in the overall and gold medals rankings, people are not that bothered. Part of the explanation for that is quite simple: the Rio games are more removed in many people’s minds when compared to London and Beijing (well, of course). China had been hungry to host the Olympic Games for years—I remember waking up in the 90s and being told that “we didn’t get the Olympics” by my mother. I knew little about the world but the Olympics, well, they were important. But Rio is a long way away, and the city is not as famous as London is.