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Shuai Zhao of China celebrates after winning gold in the men’s team table tennis at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo on September 2. Photo: Reuters

LettersParalympics success proves China is world’s greatest sporting nation

  • Readers discuss true sporting success, Hong Kong hosting international sports events, the merits of full-time classes and Cantopop group Mirror’s effect on the city
The Tokyo Summer Olympics magnified the United States’ need to be seen as the world’s pre-eminent sporting power, regardless of how that was spun. The US media tends to show the medal table, not by gold medal totals – where the US topped China on the last day of competition – but by total medals.

The platform for the US’ sporting success, its collegiate sporting system, turns out many world-class athletes but also thousands indebted graduates every year. The need to win and have the most medals has become a millstone around the country’s neck rather than a symbol of its success.

The question is how do you judge which is the greatest sporting nation on Earth. Is it the one that claims the title at the Olympics, or do you judge success across the Olympics and the Paralympics?

The US ended the Paralympics in third place by gold medal count. China was, by some distance, first in the gold medal and total medal counts.

Paralympians arguably have to face even greater challenges than their able-bodied counterparts to succeed at the very highest level, so their success should at least be on a par with them. China, with its combined success in the Olympics and Paralympics, is the greatest sporting nation on Earth. The US comes in a distant second.

Gunther Homerlein, Pok Fu Lam

Hosting international sports events will benefit Hong Kong

Since Hong Kong athletes won several medals at the Olympics and Paralympic Games, flipping through the newspapers you are bound to see articles about the city not putting enough emphasis on sports. I am of the opinion that Hong Kong should try to hold more international sports events.


Hong Kong Olympic athletes welcomed back in homecoming parade

Hong Kong Olympic athletes welcomed back in homecoming parade

The major reason Hong Kong should do so is because these events could help to boost the city’s economic growth. In terms of benefits to tourism, countless spectators from different countries would come to Hong Kong to support their favourite athletes.


Since most international sports events like the Olympics usually last for around two weeks, tourists would patronise restaurants, shops and hotels here. This could also provide job opportunities for Hongkongers from lower-income communities.

Moreover, such events would help cultivate a strong sporting culture in the community and introduce Hongkongers to a wide range of sports – such as karate, water polo and rhythmic gymnastics – in addition to the ones people are familiar with. Not only might this inspire more people to exercise, but it could also inculcate in them the spirit of sportsmanship and the value of hard work and perseverance.

Ivan Tang, Tuen Mun

Full-day classes have their drawbacks

I am writing in response to the article, “Coronavirus: Hong Kong schools unlikely to resume full-day classes when the new term starts, as many students not yet vaccinated” ( August 28).
The advantage of full-day school is that schools can use class hours more flexibly and take into account core courses. They can provide students with diversified learning experiences, such as promoting learning through reading, moral and civic education, national education, religious education, physical and artistic development and the use of information technology.

They can conduct interactive and cross-curricular learning, expand other learning experiences to promote students’ whole-person development and enhance their lifelong learning capabilities. After class, schools can promote extracurricular activities, library services and tutoring activities.


The half-day system naturally reduces the number of study hours. At present, most schools have a lunch break and another break for about one hour. If school is dismissed early, about one class is lost.

When the full-day system was introduced, I hoped that I could read more, finish homework and do more activities in the afternoon. Unfortunately, when it was implemented, many parents lamented that students’ homework had increased and they failed to complete most of it at school. Much of the increase is in subject teaching time rather than student activities or self-selected learning.

Many people think full-day classes would allow students to study longer and learn better. More activities could also be arranged for students to participate in, and the teacher-student relationship could develop better.

However, the workload and extracurricular activities that students face today have led to burnt-out students. The long class time and after-school activity arrangements leave little time for students to develop their personal interests. Half-day classes might not a bad idea.

Nick Lin, Tseung Kwan O

Mirror a blessing for all Hongkongers

I refer to your article, “Are Hong Kong boy band Mirror selling out by endorsing brands left and right from Samsung to McDonald’s to Louis Vuitton – and does that detract from the brands’ value?”( September 2).
I love Mirror. It’s members’ popularity can be well accounted for. Apart from the image of energy and positivity they project, they are genuine in the real sense of the word. Unlike other idols who act and speak in just the right way, they are ready to expose their relatively unmade-up faces. They expose their past and struggles in being stars, too. To us fans, they are readily acceptable.

I can see them wherever I go, whether I’m chilling out at McDonald’s, shopping at convenience stores, strolling in the streets or scrolling on my mobile. They are so accessible, just like our friends.


Boy band Mirror with idol Keung To lead Hong Kong Canto-pop revival after protests and pandemic

Boy band Mirror with idol Keung To lead Hong Kong Canto-pop revival after protests and pandemic
Both high- and low-end brand names are capitalising on their popularity to advertise their business. Mirror can help them attract hitherto uninterested customers and boost sales tremendously, and they do. People from all walks of life in Hong Kong are willing to pay what they can afford to show their support for these boys.

At a time when the political climate has changed and Hong Kong is fed up with lies, fakeness and moral degradation, Mirror is a breakthrough on the music scene as well as in our local atmosphere.

These days, people are happier, less confrontational, more stable and more relaxed. Bless these angels for walking us into a less grievous stage in our local history.

Jacqueline Kwan, Mid-Levels