From what we have seen, most Chinese children (and adults) are extremely fit and healthy. From a very young age (3 years old!), they compete against other schools in a variety of activities. In Peter and Jack's school, they run relay races, do push-ups, sit-ups, climb ropes, and do calisthenics every day. Many days, Peter and Jack come home with sore muscles! Even in university, to graduate they must pass tests where they run 2 kilometers in a short period of time.
Sophie had her first taste of this in her kindergarten. In her school, they had a "crawling" competition, among other things, that Sophie was eligible to compete in. In her school, they lined her up on a set of green mats and told her to crawl as fast as she could for about 100 feet. It was a timed race, and Sophie won 2nd place in her school!
Then, Sophie's school asked us if she would represent their school in the same competition against other schools! So, yesterday Sue took the kids to the inter-school competition.
Here they are, trying to organize all of the children ...
Sophie, holding up her school sign...
Sue, getting Sophie pumped up for the big race (as if Sophie ever needed pumping up for anything)!
... and here's the Champ, getting ready for her race. Lucky no. 2, with her name on her back. The characters translate to a rough pronunciation of Sophie "So - Fay"
The school likes to send text messages to my telephone to tell us of the goings-on. I mostly ignore them since it's so hard to figure out all of the Chinese characters, unless the teacher tells me to get one translated - I think one of them must have been about getting one of these blue sweatshirts. Sophie was the only one without!
Well, without the blue sweatshirt, at least it is easy to pick her out of the crowd. Here she is with her classmates who she really adores!
Munching on a piece of seaweed before the big race. Maybe this will give her that extra burst of speed...
Hanging out with one of her teachers for a little pep talk before the big race...
... and SHE'S OFF!
She crawled and crawled and won... 1ST PLACE! I'm sure those of you that know Sophie's speed and energy are not surprised in the least!
Or, maybe it's because she wasn't encumbered by a bulky blue sweatshirt!
Here, the parents are making an arch for the children to crawl through. Sue (blue jacket) is getting some help being an arch from the little boy behind her.
After leaving the competition, they saw this scene - people using the trees as a clothesline on this sunny day.
For Sue, it was a long day at the competition, more than 3 hours waiting for other kids to have their turn before Sophie's appearance. There was no English to be heard either, so it was a challenging day for her, and I was teaching all day!