Ningbo becomes 'a cradle' for Olympic gold medalists
Yang Qian celebrates after winning the first gold medal of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in the women's 10m air rifle competition, on July 24, 2021. [Photo/IC]
Sports authorities in Ningbo attach great importance to academic education in the development of top athletes. The city has included its athletes' academic performance into their overall qualification evaluations. Over the past five years, a total of 105 Ningbo athletes have been admitted to China's first-tier universities. For example, Yang is a full-time undergraduate student at Tsinghua University, while Wang has graduated from Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
It wasn't until the 2016 Rio Games that a Ningbo athlete won an Olympics gold medal. However, the city had started to formulate development plans on competitive sports in the early 1990s.
In the latest five-year plan published earlier this year, Ningbo authorities proposed to consolidate the city's strength in badminton, shooting, weightlifting, trampoline, and yachting competitions, while bolstering the development of track and field, swimming, gymnastics, as well as aquatic sports.
Ningbo has managed to establish training bases for the national teams in men's weightlifting, women's volleyball, and canoeing.
The city's sports industry is expected to generate around 70 billion yuan ($10.8 billion) in 2020, up 20 percent from the previous year, accounting for nearly a quarter of the province's aggregate.