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Run or not to run? Sports circle faces dilemma

(People's Daily Online)

08:21, November 30, 2012


Many famous universities including Peking University have cancelled the long-distance race of more than 3,000 meters in school sports day. More than 30 colleges and universities in Xi'an cancelled the long-distance race, while Beijing University of Science and Technology, Beijing Normal University and Capital University of Economics and Business find substitutes — "400-meter steeplechase", "Tornado", "knitting long braids" and other interesting sporting events.

On the contrary, over 30 full and half-marathon races are held in China every year, and many cities will hold marathon races every month, with a scale of more than 20,000 participators in each race.

The two phenomena simultaneously exist in China, indeed confusing. From the upsurge of marathon, it seems that China is a nation loving running, but it may be opposite from cancellation of long-distance race on campuses. Which one should we believe?

In fact, these two pictures are both real, but there are different logics for their existence. The unfolding of marathon hot is not entirely because of people's love for running but related to the enthusiasm of a number of cities for carrying out "image projects"; whereas the policymakers of some colleges and universities which cancelled long-distance running projects plausibly proclaim that "long-distance running has higher demand on the students' physical fitness which the majority of college students do not meet at present and therefore poses certain risks." Regrettably, neither of these two logics seems to have good grounds.

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