FUZHOU — The first Chinese Youth Games, which closed on Oct 27, is a symbol of the country’s efforts to reform its sports industry.
Previously the City Games, which was canceled after the seventh edition in Jiangxi province four years ago, the Youth Games was created as a Chinese version of the Youth Olympic Games.
As a move to promote mass sports and the Olympic Movement, the National Youth Games attached as much importance to education as to competition.
However, not all nation-wide sports games are as lucky as the Youth Games as China cut several national games in order to shift resources to mass sports.
The scrapped events include National Sports Festival of China, China Water Sports Games, National Mountain Sports Meeting, China Aerial Sports Games and National Red Sports Meeting.
The first National Sports Festival was held in Ningbo of east China’s Zhejiang province in 2000. The festival, previously held every four years, featured traditional sports such as Weiqi, or Go chess, and dragon boat racing, representing the highest level of non-Olympic events in China.
China Water Sports Games, inaugurated in 2007, had eight categories and nearly 100 events, including swimming, sailing, dragon boat racing, motor boat racing.
National Mountain Sports Meeting that included biking and field fishing, was open to both professional athletes and amateurs.
China Aerial Sports Games, first held in Nantong, Jiangsu province in 2005, was canceled after the second edition. The Games included aerial sports like accuracy jumping and hot-air ballooning. A wedding was even held in the sky to add fun in the inaugural Games.
National Red Sports Meeting was a combination of Chinese “red” culture and mass sports, featuring running, jumping and even cooking. Competition arenas were decorated as World War II battlefields.