Michael Johnson teaching English to Chinese

BEIJING, June 2 (AFP) - China, struggling to closethe gap between the country’s top level athletes and theworld’s best, plan to tackle the problem by learningbetter English, with the help of Michael Johnson.
Feng Shuyong, head coach of the Chinese athleticsteam, said clearing the language barrier was integral tonarrowing the gap on the world’s elite.
There are more and more international tournamentswhere English is always the official language,'' hesaid. If our athletes know nothing about English, it willprevent them from communicating with other athletes oreven work against their competition.’’
Feng said most Chinese athletes know nothing aboutEnglish except one or two words and many are not willingto travel overseas alone.
Actually, due to the language barrier, we reallymissed chances of international races where we willotherwise gain much more experience,'' Feng told Xinhuanews agency. He said the athletes will strengthen their Englishlearning step by step, kicking off with American starsprinter Michael Johnson conducting lectures for China'sAthens-bound Olympics team from June 14 to 18. Other English teachers will also be invited to helpout. China's top hurdler Liu Xiang, a hot medal chance inAthens, admitted that he needs to work harder on hisEnglish, and is studying it in his spare time. I believe speaking English well will surely benefitme,’’ he said.
Outside of Liu, China’s other main medal hopeful inAthens is women’s long distance runner Sun Yingjie, aworld championship 5,000m bronze medallist.
China won just one gold in track and field at the 2000Olympics in Sydney, in the women’s 20km walk and hasmade clear it wants to be able to compete on a moreequal footing with the Olympics in Beijing in 2008.

Thats a very good point. I really do see that the gap between top level athletic countries and lower level ones is ( English and may be french too ). For example. I don’t see how someone who does not know english would benefit form this site. While look at the moroccans for example. They excel because they speak good french and the can transfere the info through french speaking countries. Language is very important. most info is given in either English or French, articles, etc… . How could all that be read. How would you talk to another athlete.

To say the truth, The chineese really know how to fix things down there