In August 1908, the fourth modern Olympic Games took place in London, and it was there — in the city that will host the 2012 Games — that the first steps were taken to set China on the path to Olympic glory. Even though China was not yet a member of the International Olympic Committee and Chinese athletes did not compete, an influential Chinese educator ZHANG Boling 张伯苓, the principal of Nankai University 南开大学, was in London, on his way to visit several schools and universities in Britain. He was impressed by the principle of the Olympics — fair play 公平竞争. He returned to China in October and introduced the idea — and ideal — of the Olympic Games to his students in Tianjin 天津.
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