And the Winner is… That Girl Wearing Jeans!

Yangzhou High School Track Meet

Yesterday I attended a high school track meet which is a huge contrast from a typical high school track meet in the US. First of all, the contestants are competing against other classes as opposed to other schools. (A difference between the US and China in the classroom: Teachers move from class to class, NOT students. Students have one class all year long and just switch teachers and subjects. They sit in the same room with the same people.) Classes compete in not only events such as the 200-meter dash and shot put, but also in Tai Chi and Kung Fu. Different grades participate in different events. Every student must participate in track, so it is not very competitive. I saw it as a mandatory P.E. class, held once a year. The track meet is annual and held for two straight days. Every race and event has more than five heats since there are so many students that must participate. Some of the competitors were wearing sandals, jeans, and collared shirts. The races were performed mostly at a jog but there were a few athletic stars who shone at this event. It was explained to me that the athletes were a very few selected individuals who actually did not need to study much outside of school (a typical high school student comes to school at 7am and leaves at 7pm and then does between 4 and 6 hours of homework and studying) and instead focus on athletics. These students were very rare, but occasionally in a race you would see them, finishing the race before some had barely gotten started, or in the long-distance cases lapping many of their competitors. It was very interesting to watch and fun to see the differences, since I ran track in the past. Today after my classes I am heading out to Daqiao with Yixin and her family to celebrate the National Holiday and then going to Zhenjiang with Tony to celebrate again. I will be staying with them for the next week, since there is no school, and exploring more of Yangzhou!

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