Tai Chi in the Park: Is It a Sport? (Zhè shì shénme tǐyù xiàngmù 这是什么体育项目)| 这是什么体育项目Zhè shì shénme tǐyù xiàngmù(Tai Chi in the Park: Is It a Sport?)
XIONG Huan 熊欢
A man practices tai chi in the morning on the grounds of the Temple of Heaven in Beijing.
Foreign visitors to the Beijing Olympics, and visitors to China at any time who wake up early in the morning and go out to explore, will see people in China’s city parks engaging in unfamiliar physical activities. They might ask themselves, “Is that a sport?” The answer is, “Maybe yes, maybe no.” Some of these activities — such as Chinese folk dance, yangge 秧歌, and shuttlecock kicking, ti jian zi 踢毽 — are traditional, while others such as disco dancing are modern; all have special Chinese characteristics. Some include a degree of competition — a feature of all Western sports — and all require skill, though not necessarily strength.