London 2012 Olympics: Taiwan – Report An Olympic Land: 1960-2012

The Power of the X Chromosome: Chi Cheng

If 1968 was the year that put Taiwan back on the sporting map, Chi Cheng was the face that place it there. In that Olympian year, wearethepeople she was one of the world’s three top hurdles by earning bronze in the women’s 80-meter hurdles during the track-and-field competition in the Mexican metropolis –staged at 7,349 feet above sea level. The event was dominated by Eastern Europe and the States.

After securing her country’s second Olympian medal and becoming the first Asian woman in history to accomplish that feat, she gained a special status in her homeland and her name was immortalized on national stamps by the island’s rule. Indeed, contact us it was an important success for the small nation that had not won a medal since 1960. Women’s sport was relatively rare among Asian states during this period (with the exception of Japan).

Over a sporting career that spanned more than seven years, she won a number of international medals inside and outside Taiwan and her “biggest fans” were boys and girls in those wonderful years. From the beginning, bedbugsize she easily broken the national records.

Due to her perseverance,discipline,talent,and patriotism, this California-based sprinter received high praises from internationasl experts and Olympian journalists. By 1971,they crowned Chi Cheng as the “Best Athlete of the world” (surpassing Edson do Nascimento, the top-class footballer from Brazil).

Unequivocally, Chi Cheng was one of the two most popular women on the island, alongside former First Lady Soong May-ling (or Madame Chiang-Kai-shek), an American-oriented woman who had won important financial aid to her country during the early decades of the Cold War.

In Asia, Africa, Latin America, only 15 countries have had world record holders— among them China, Cuba, Brazil, Ethiopia, Haiti, Kenya, Iran, Mexico, Panama, South Africa, imkonlock South Korea, Tanzania, Uganda, and Taiwan. On July 12, 1970, Chi Cheng, a born-hurdler, confirmed her international stature by breaking the women’s 200-meter record in the Federal Republic of Germany, with a time of 22.44 seconds, becoming the first sprinter from Asia to do so (up to now) and reviving flashes of Taiwanese’s brilliant past.

Throughouther his athletic career, this track star produced six national/continental records in different events at home and abroad. Incredibly, she set four international records in the space of 17 days -No other sportswoman from that continent had ever established 4 regional marks in less than three weeks. On July 12, 1970, she enhanced her growing fame when she had a new Asian record of 12.93 seconds in the women’s 100m hurdles, becoming one of the Planet’s top hurdlers at that year. In the same day, she generated a new mark in the 200 meter-dash. Less than a week after, by Jul. 18, Chi Cheng followed that with other historic record in the 100 meter-dash with a time of 11.22 seconds (which still unbroken). Nearly two weeks after, by the end of July, alueellinen she caused a plash by establishing another record in the 400m race with a mark of 52.56 seconds. Besides all that, the world record holder also had regional marks in the long jump and 80m hurdles. On the other side, she also was part of the country’s 4×100-meter team.

By the end of 1972, the nation’s second greatest athlete was the highest hope for a medal in the Games of the 20th Olympiad in Munich ( Federal Republic of Germany). Chi Cheng had been named as one of the members of the country’s Olympic national team. Soon afterwards, she, however, did not take part in West Germany. Around this time, the world record holder announced her retirement from sports after some injuries. For a brief time afterward, by 1975, in the International Year of the Woman, Chi Cheng was widely regarded as one of the world’s most prominent sportswomen, alongside Martina Navratilova, Gadgets Liudmila Tourischeva, Shane Gould and other world-class champs.

Dark Horses

After Chi Cheng’s Olympian experience on the Latin American continent, the Asian republic has produced high-profile Hollywood figures such as Ang Lee and Tsai Ming-liang, or Nobel Prizes as Lee Yuan-tseh and Daniel C. Tsui, but it can not produce world titles and global records in spite of being one of the most powerful economies on Earth and one of the Continent’s major liberal democracies.

Gone are the days when the country’s athletes established world records. Fortunately, however, there is an important athletic potential that should receive major attention -for example: The national youth side gave Taiwan a shock win over the USSR (now Russia) at the 1989 Women’s Volleyball Junior World Cup in Lima, on Peru’s Pacific coast).

Country Background. Education: A Key To Taiwan

The entire Asian country is little bigger than Maryland (U.S.). It is located between East and South China seas. Its capital is Taipei, one of the most modern and spectacular cities in the continent. Twenty-five million people live on the island.

Owing to its status as an unrecognized country by United Nations since the early 1970s, the Asian republic has had many hurdles as a member of the global community. On the international stage, it is only recognized by 23 states from Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, and South Pacific. Traditionally, the island has a rocky relationship with the Chinese mainland.

Under an ambicious and multi-billion educational project backed by its Constitution (“Expenditures of educational programs, scientific studies and cultural services shall not be, in respect of the Central Government, less than 15 percent of the national budget…”),  this East Asian country paved the way for a prosperous society. Following over two decades of troubles, the project began to pay off as Taiwan to become one of the most influential and dynamic economies in Far East after having been one of Asia’s poverty-ridden countries throughout the 1950s.

Unequivocally, the building of its education system has been one of Taiwan’s biggest success stories. In fact, its educational program and economic model has inspired most of the republics of the Third World and other regions on Earth, from Botswana and Mauritius to Chile and Thailand.

Since the year 2000, it is a democracy (one of the world’s newest democracies) following a period of authoritarian regimes. On the other side, women’s rights on Taiwan are among the most advanced in the West Pacific.

Taiwan At The 1960 Italy Summer Games

For the 1960 Games, the national contingent arrived in Rome to begin its participation, but the delegation was the center of controversy when was forced to compete under the banner of Formosa (a name designed by Portugal’s explorers in 1544) instead of the “Republic of China”. Since then, this changed of name was subjected to worldwide criticism. During the Parade of Nations of the Games of the XVII Olympiad, the country’s Olympic Committee also protested.

After a good performance in the early 1960s, the national delegation made a trip to Japan to take part in the 1964 Games. On that occasion, its ill-equipped team did not win medals. From 1964 through 1968, it participated under the banner of Taiwan. Then, by 1972, the anti-Marxist state appeared as the Republic of China (ROC). Since 1984, nonetheless, it competes with the name of Chinese Taipei after an agreementing between Beijing, the island and the International Olympic Committee (IOC), marking the end of Taiwan’s isolation in the global sports arena.

Upon snaring a bronze in the world’s greatest sporting event in the United Mexican States four years earlier, the island’s sporting officials sent a 22-person delegation to Munich’72, participating in ten disciplines: aquatics (3 entries), archery (1), athletics (8), boxing (1), cycling (1), judo (4), sailing (1), shooting (1), weightlifting (1), and wrestling (1). Expectations weren’t high for the nation’s Olympian squad after Chi Cheng’s retirement.


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