Kids as young as four 'pushed to breaking point' in China’s gymnastics camps

By Lindsay de Freitas
30 July 2015

At a gymnastics training camp in Nanning, a motivational sign hangs on the wall. It simply reads "GOLD".

Here, and at other camps like it, children as young as four are drilled in intense gymnastics training sessions in the hope that they’ll one day compete professionally, The Daily Mail reports.

Professional gymnasts all over the world generally start training as kids, but those who show promise in the sport in China are singled out very early on. These youngsters are sent to camps to perfect their skills. At one such camp in Bozhou, Anhui Province, the little gymnasts -- who look about four or five --  train for hours every single day. Here, they are taught to "push their tiny bodies through the pain barrier", the site reports, with activities like hanging from horizontal bars, contorting their tiny bodies, or walking on their hands.

China lead the medal table for gymnastics at the 2012 Olympics in London with five gold medals, and 12 medals overall.


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