Newspaper article China Post

Taiwan's Olympic Problem Goes Well beyond the SAC

Newspaper article China Post

Taiwan's Olympic Problem Goes Well beyond the SAC

Article excerpt

(ProQuest: ... denotes non-USASCII text omitted)

What does it take to win medals at the Olympics?

This is a serious question, because of course Olympic medals aren't just medals. They're a kind of highly visible and sweeping validation: Every last one is a gold star for the political system, the economy, the society and general creed of the recipient's nation.

So this is a question that has kept plenty of Taiwan officials up at night. So far, their approach has been the common strategy of pinpointing the busiest nodes of Olympics preparation, and then applying lots of cash. In 2009, the Legislature approved a whopping NT$1 billion "London Olympics budget" for the Sports Affairs Council (SAC, [...]), tasking it with bringing home at least 4 medals. Funding was boosted to NT$1.9 billion the following year.

But as the dust is settling on the games in London, officials in Taiwan are looking grim.

"There is much room for improvement," said Democratic Progressive Party caucus whip Tsai Huang-liang ([...]) on Friday.

Chinese Taipei's modest two-medal tally at London shows that national athletes are "insufficiently trained," according to the opposition party. In a rare moment of cross-party amity, the Kuomintang's Yang Ying-hsiung ([...]) agreed that Chinese Taipei have disappointed and that someone must accept the responsibility. The most likely candidate? Minister Tai Hsia-ling ([...]) of the SAC, said Yang.

There's something about these kinds of complaints that does not ring true, because SAC funding is ample and maybe even bloated. Most of that money does go into training, sports technology, nutrition programs and administrative support for elite athletes. The taekwondo team's Yang Shu-chun has suggested as much herself. "Whatever we asked for, we got," she told reporters.

The problem with our SAC-focused strategy is that medaling at top sporting events takes more - much, much more -- than training, sports technology, nutrition programs and administrative support for elite athletes. All of that can only provide polish: The SAC can help elite athletes perform better, but the SAC can't create the elite athlete. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.