In 1971, Ping-Pong—the “ping heard round the world”— helped to create the first person-to-person, and then diplomatic, ties between two Cold War enemies: China and the United States.
Chinese women have excelled in elite sports for decades, but at long last athletic activity at the grassroots level seems to be taking off, aided in part by a shifting perception of the purpose of sport.
Although extreme sports are gradually growing in popularity in China, they are still perceived as risky, and people prefer buying the gear and watching the events to actively participating themselves.
Corporate sponsorship is an essential aspect of the modern Olympic Games. At the Beijing Olympics, as at earlier Olympics, companies are willing to shell out tens of millions of dollars to get their names before a worldwide audience.