Chinese people have never been great at team sports. That’s why you don’t see many Chinese folks playing American football, basketball, soccer, or baseball. The Chinese just aren’t physically big enough to compete in many of these sports. The Chinese are known for their minds not their physical attributes.
You figure that out of a country of one billion plus people, they could create more than a handful of professional athletes in US team sports. I can only think of a handful. You have Yao Ming (Houston Rockets) and Yi Jianlian (Washington Wizards) in basketball (also American born Jeremy Lin – Golden State Warriors), Chien-Ming Wang of the Washington Nationals in baseball. Yao’s career is about over and Yi is a marginal basketball player for the Washington Wizards. Besides Yao Ming, there really isn’t any big Chinese athletes in team sports. And trust me, Yao is not your average Chinese person. He just happens to be 7’6″ and has incredible athleticism. Can you name more than three professional Chinese team athletes NOT playing in China?
Let’s turn this around and look at non-team sports. The Chinese have incredible athletes in sports like diving, gymnastics, table tennis (ping-pong), shooting, and ice skating. So why are the Chinese only good at one person sports? It’s because you use your mind in these sports. You use your concentration and finesse. You outsmart your opponents. I don’t watch a lot of these non-team sports except during the Olympics but I can probably name more than 3 athletes in these sports – You have Michelle Kwan in skating, Yani Tseng in LPGA golf, Liu Xiang, the Chinese hurdler, Michelle Chang in tennis, Li Na in women’s tennis…. that’s about all can name as I don’t watch a ton of one-man sports.
Going back to my original comment, out of a billion people, you would think that we can produce some world class athletes. Let’s see how many you can name.