Chinese athletes multi-tasked at Youth Olympics

Updated: 2014-08-13 15:18


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BEIJING - Good results, active social life and free from scandals - the Youth Olympics-bound Chinese athletes have been given more tasks than their senior counterparts, just without that much pressure.

When the Chinese delegation announced its 123 athletes on Monday, chef de mission Xiao Tian asked these young people, aged between 15 and 18, that they need to be more than just an athlete in Nanjing Games.

"Our goals at the Youth Olympcis are different from those for the Olympics. The point of the Youth Games is to promote Olympic spirit and help young people build a healthy life style," said Xiao.

"You will compete on home soil which means good results are expected, but more than that, you should take part in social and educational activities, communicate with athletes from other parts of the world and improve yourself as a person," he told the group of teenagers, who mainly came from China's sports schools.

Exellence on and off the sport field is not enough. As far as Xiao concerned, these athletes also must remain scandal free.

China is known to heavily crack down on doping cheats among elite athletes while sport authorities have admitted that they are short of resources to monitor lower level athletes in huge numbers.

Without proper anti-doping education and supervision, young athletes could fall easy victims when it comes to doping.

"Young athletes usually lack anti-doping awareness and knowledge. They are not regualted as much as senior athletes and easily influenced by others," Xiao warned.

"There could be pitfalls in doping control, so we launch a program to give anti-doping lectures and are very strict on medicine use.

"We have to make sure to send clean athletes and avoid any doping scandal," he added.

As the Youth Games are confined to teenagers between 15 and 18, the Chinese sport authorities carefully selected athletes at the right age.

"We have long adopted bone age tests. And we request athletes to show their birth certificate, ID, passport, domestic registration and international registration, all of which must contain consistent information," Xiao said.

Chinese athletes will compete in all the 28 sports in the second edition of the Games in Nanjing from Aug 16-28. Singapore held the inaugural Youth Olympics in 2010.