China is one of the oldest cultures in the world and they have been practicing a form of sport in one way or another for a long time. They have practiced archery and swordplay as well as a form of soccer dating back to the earliest dynasties.
Today, Chinese athletes are well-known for their martial arts but this culture which has spent a long time enclosing themselves from the rest of the world have started embracing western sports from basketball all the way to snooker. Physical fitness is a great part of the Chinese culture which is why there are a lot of fitness clubs and commercial gyms.
They have a lot of cyclists in the country having 470 million bicycles in the 2012. But for the youth, basketball is quite big mostly because of NBA players who are a native Chinese or have Chinese blood. Players like Yoa Ming and Jeremy Lin are quite revered in China.
China has also attended most of the Olympics Games, both the Summer and Winter Games, since 1932. They have also hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing where they took a total of 51 gold medals, the most that any participating state took home that year. They took a total of 100 medals that year, the highest medal count they ever had in any Olympic outing since they first joined in 1932. China also hosted the 2022 Winter Olympics, also in Beijing.
Below are details of sports, sporting events and sports people related to China. See also about sport in Hong Kong, Macau, Chinese Taipei.
Popular sports of China
Traditional or Regional Sports
- Jianzi — players aim to keep an shuttlecock type object (called a Jianzi) in the air by striking it predominantly with legs.
- Cuju — an ancient ball game which involves kicking a ball through an opening into a net.
- Qianball — a racket and ball sport developed in China which can be best described as a mix of aspects from tennis and squash.
- Zui Quan (or Drunkard's Boxing) — a concept in traditional Chinese martial arts.
- Wushu — a full-contact sport derived from traditional Chinese martial arts.
- Sanda / Sanshou — a form of kickboxing from China, which combines full-contact kickboxing, with wrestling, takedowns, throws, sweeps, kick catches, and in some competitions, even elbow and knee strikes.
- Beikou Tarkbei (also called Daur Hockey) — a team sport unique to the Daur ethnic group in Inner Mongolia, that has a lot of similarities to field hockey.
China's Sporting Success
- China led the gold medal count at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
Great athletes from China
- Yao Ming (basketball)
- Zhang Lian-wei (Golf)
- Deng Yaping (Table Tennis)
- Liu Xiang (hurdles, track & field)
- Li Na (tennis)
China Sports trivia
- Sprinter Liu Changchun was the first athlete to represent China in competition at an Olympic Games - he was the sole competitor from the Republic of China at the 1932 Games in Los Angeles.
- At the 1992 Olympic Games, 13-year-old Fu Mingxia of China won the platform diving event, making her the second-youngest person to win an individual gold medal.
- Besides the UK, China is the only other country that has four national associations in FIFA, including Hong Kong, Macau, Chinese Taipei.
- There is evidence that an early form of soccer was played in China - military forces around 2nd-3rd century BC played a game called "Tsu Chu", that involved kicking a leather ball stuffed with fur into a small hole, and like soccer no hands were permitted during the play of the game.
China at major events
- China at the Summer Olympics. See also Republic of China at the Olympics
- China at the Winter Olympics
- China at the FIFA World Cup
- China at the AFC Asian Cup
- China women's football team at the FIFA Women's World Cup
Past sporting events hosted in China
- 1990 Asian Games – Beijing
- 1993 East Asian Games host, held in Shanghi.
- 2001 Summer Universiade – Beijing
- 2004 AFC Asian Cup (soccer).
- 2005 Men's World Boxing Championships in Mianyang
- 2008 Olympic Games summer hosts in Beijing
- 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing
- 2008 Women's World Boxing Championships in Ningbo
- 2009 Winter Universiade – Harbin
- 2010 Asian Games, Guangzhou.
- 2010 World Combat Games in Beijing
- 2011 Summer Universiade – Shenzhen
- 2011 World Swimming Championships in Shanghai
- 2012 Women's World Boxing Championships in Qinhuandao
- 2013 East Asian Games host, held in Tianjin.
- 2014 Youth Olympic Games, Nanjing
- 2015 World Athletic Championships, Beijing
- 2018 FINA World Swimming Championships (25 m) in Hangzhou
- 2019 World Police and Fire Games, Chengdu
- 2019 World Military Games, Wuhan
- 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing
Upcoming sporting events in China
- 2022 XXXI Summer Universiade in Chengdu (to be held in 2023)
- 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou (to be held in 2023)
- 2023 Asian Beach Games in Sanya City
- 2023 19th IAAF World Indoor Athletics Championship in Nanjing, China
- 2025 World Games in Chengdu
Annual sporting events held in China
- China Open (Tennis)
- BMW Masters (Golf)
- All China Games (the National Games of the People's Republic of China.) - held every 4 years.
Sporting Facilities in China
- Hong Kong Sports Institute (HKSI)
- Beijing National Stadium (Bird's Nest)
- Beijing National Aquatics Center
- Guangdong Stadium.
- Beijing Sport University (BNU)
- Sport Science Study Institutions in China
- See Sports Videos tagged 'China'
- China participates in the East Asian Games.
Is there something missing? If you know of something that should be listed here, please let me know.
- See also about sport in Hong Kong, Macau, Chinese Taipei.
- China Travel Food Guide for Athletes
- Countries list
- World of Sport Home