While China’s Ye Shiwen, ‘Mandarin Mermaid,’ glided to another easy victory yesterday, accusations are flying about whether or not the 16-year-old swimmer is using performance-enhancing drugs.
However, the story that is not being told is the torturous training that Chinese athletes go through, beginning in childhood.
Chinese children, who are identified as a potential champions, are removed from school and placed in a ruthless training camp, reports the Daily Mail.
Young people are forced to swim for hours in a vacuum contraption that sucks out surrounding air, fed a protein-rich diet and injected with steroids.
Some are speculating that Ye Shiwen may have been similarly programmed, as she has masculine wall-like figure, wide shoulders and huge, rounded thighs and armchair-leg calves.
According to her mother, Qing Dingyi, Ye "expressed a wish to become a swimmer at the "tender age of seven."
However, critics say that she was picked out because she had an unusually masculine physique with extremely large hands and long limbs
After being removed from her home in Hangzhou, China, she was taken to the Chen Jingluin sports school, where it was decided that she would be best suited to swimming. At 11 years old, she had won her first major junior championship.