Tough & strict: Inside the training life of Chinese gymnasts
China has always been renowned for its sporting success at the Games but also for the strict training regimes behind making its athletes.
The country has turned out some of the world’s best gymnasts and these pictures give an insight into the gruelling training their young go through to get to the top.
Gymnastic stars are known for starting at an incredibly early age, and this group of children appear no different as they battled to complete the demanding routines on bars, rings, and mats.
Aged from the tender age of four into their teens, these children are students at the Ningjin Acrobatics School, where they learn to bend their bodies into seemingly impossible positions.
At its peak the school, which was founded in 1959 had over 70 students. The young gymnasts are put through a rigorous stretching routine by their coaches during each training session.
The school where they are being trained is the same one used by Chinese gymnast Xiao Qin, who won the gold medal on the pommel horse in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
The 27-year-old started training at the Nanjing school aged five, before being recruited by the ‘August First’ gymnastics team of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in 1995.
The youngsters at the same training school will be hoping to emulate the success of Qin, who joined China’s national team in 1999 aged 14.
They pay around 2,500 yuan – about £250 – living expenses every year to learn acrobatics.
SOURCE: Daily Mail
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