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Poor performance possibly a product of plethoric pampering

Admittedly, the Taiwan Olympic team did not shine in London this summer. Maybe there is a reason for that. But if we are to dispense blame, we had better not point an accusing finger at the sports officials and physical education authorities alone, because most, if not all of us, should take blame for the team's poor show.

Taiwan ranked 63rd in the official medal count, winning only one silver medal and a bronze one. Even the country's taekwondo squads, on which the country as a whole had pinned high hopes because of their rather impressive medal hauls in past international sporting events, proved a disappointment.

Two taekwondo athletes, Yang Shu-chun (楊淑君) and Wei Chen-yang (魏辰洋), were eliminated during the second round, leaving only Tseng Li-cheng (曾櫟騁) to come home with a bronze. Commenting on the performance of Chinese Taipei taekwondo and other athletes, Sports Affairs Council Minister Tai Hsia-ling (戴遐齡) said that local athletes received “five-star” treatment only to perform poorly in return, the reports added.

No one is completely sure what Tai meant by “five-star” treatment, but if she really thinks money lavished on athletes should produce results, she is at best half-right. The problem surely runs deeper than that.

The team was arguably the cream of the crop in the country's sports circles. But if the crop is physically weak, the cream gleaned from it may not be so impressive.

Let us look at the crop.

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