Sport & Culture

A Mixed Bag for China at 2012 Olympics

While not taking the top spot at this year’s 2012 Games, China has much to celebrate with a bright future ahead.

A Mixed Bag for China at 2012 Olympics
Credit: Wikicommons

China may have slipped from top of the Olympic medal standings from 2008 to 2012 but the people involved in sport in the country don’t’ seem too disheartened.

Despite coming second to the United States, China’s haul of 88 medals included 38 gold.

The United States finished on top, returning to the summit it last captured in Athens in 2004.

America took 46 golds to China’s 38, victory by a considerable margin and the team also collected more medals in total – 104 to China’s 88.

It should be pointed that while China has slipped from four years ago, London marks an improvement since Athens.

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All host nations enjoy a boost from home advantage. It was always going to be impossible for China to match the exploits of four years agio when it took an amazing 51 gold medals.

According to media in the country, there is no negativity surrounding the second-place finish.

"China's 2008 delegation was huge," David Yang, editor of the China Sports Review, said. "The delegation for London was roughly 60% the size."

"For a major sports nation like China, this was already a streamlined delegation – so their performance was splendid," Yang noted.

“The majority of Chinese aren't upset about the result… few Chinese really support the idea of winning gold medals at any price," said the Global Times Daily.

Swimming was a big success in an event which the Americans traditionally do very well and there were medals in sailing too –Xu Lijia took gold – as the country continued to diversify in the sports in which it can challenge the best.

In all, there were 23 new gold medalists, fuelling hope that they will be around in 2016 in Rio.

China’s Chef de mission Liu Peng also expressed his satisfaction."We are satisfied with the result in London. We have reached the goal of finishing in the top three in both the gold medal count and total medal count," Liu explained to reporters.

For Liu, there are areas in which to improve and that is in the realm of team sports. None of China’s teams reached the semifinal.

"Our team sports are lagging to other countries, and we need to work harder in those fields in the future."