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  • Alex Qin

Athletic Diff: Analyzing Institutional Differences of Student-Athletes in U.S. and China

The athletic institution between America and China has fundamental differences, shaping them into products that serve distinct purposes.

America extensively promoted student-athletes since high school to prepare them for entering different sports industries that serve entertainment purposes, while China upheld similar institutions mainly for honor on greater platforms.

The fundamental difference in America’s sports institution is its unique role in marketing. The prevalence of athletics in America offers the nation an affluent population base to cultivate prominent athletes, while the selection process and resources for training demand a great fortune. The market by itself surely couldn’t maintain this expense; however, it won’t be the case under government support. The Olympic Committee, for instance, owns an annual expense of four hundred million dollars, not to mention the subsidies given to coaches and students in the form of scholarships that add up to billions. To encapsulate, the ample economic and career support given to athletes fostered their growth in numbers and strength, paving the way for common practices of student-athletes to burgeon. 

China’s athletic system, though, differs entirely from the alternative. Though it also harbors a special system for student-athletic election, that path is independent of normal students. Once certain students are committed to be cultivated athletically for honor, or more explicitly, champions and titles on all recognizable fields, all resources are allocated to serve this sole demand. This characteristic is manifested by the structured sports institutions that pour resources to those dedicated to athletic achievements. However, due to the lack of economic incentives compared to America, the government contributed to the majority of the expenses.

The drastic disparity between the two nations leads to cultural differences in the masses. The all-encompassing encouragement of casual sports practices paved the way for public participation in all kinds of sports; on the other hand, China’s sole cultivation for athletes depicted a seemingly encouraging environment, yet the fact was that the public barely had access to resources and facilities; many unpopular Olympic sports were even present outside professional training venues.

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