Thursday, 30 August 2007

Beijing: The Marathon Girl or Another form of Child Abuse ?

3.560 km from Sanya, Hainan Province to Beijing in 55 days. Little Zhang Huimin, 8 years old was running and running and running. She weighs only 20 kilo and is 1,25 cm tall. Every day she got up 2.30 am and ran an average of 70 km, accompanied by her father on his motorized bicycle. They arrived in Beijing on August, 28 where they made it to the front page of the China Daily.

Is this another form of child abuse? Chinese parents are very ambitious with their offsprings. You might call it pro-active parenting when a four year old get tennis and piano lessons. But when a father sends his three year old daughter running 3 km a day dreaming her to win the marathon at the 2016 Olympics. What is that?

The father's training methods have been widely criticized (see relevant Independent article) and the girl's picture on the front page of a Chinese Newspaper at Danwei.

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