A photo of gymnastics training in communist China.‘China’s Twisted Gymnastics’ by Bethany Mootsey The Society August 3, 2021 Culture, Human Rights in China, Poetry 6 Comments . inspired by this video from communist China: . All their flipping has flopped, So their stance has flip-flopped __To a more relaxed focus on fun. “It’s a balanced approach,” Beams the school’s head coach __As she stands on the line she’s been spun. She would nail the routine Of a flexible dean __If she’d taken it into account That the camera zooms out And then swivels about, __So her smile has a wobbly dismount. For these angles expose A laborious pose __That gives backbends a bogus backdrop. Small boys sit on their peers And then push them to tears— __A perpetual stretch to the top. . . . Bethany Mootsey is a stay-at-home mom and foster mom living in Clearwater, Florida. She is a Covenant College graduate with publications in “Church Educator.” NOTE: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 6 Responses Joe Tessitore August 3, 2021 Love it, and I love “As she stands on the line she’s been spun.” – a phrase that truly resonates. Reply Julian D. Woodruff August 3, 2021 An important message. Thanks. Somewhere in mainland China there must be something that’s genuine, not evil, and not feeling the pressure/persecution of the CCP. Reply Joseph S. Salemi August 3, 2021 Red China (as was also the case with Nazi Germany) is obsessed with international prestige and honors. The more games they win, the more medals their teams bring home, the more praise from foreigners they gather — all of it is fodder for the CCP’s propaganda machine. The same was true of the old Soviet Union with chess — pressure on their champion players to win tournaments was frighteningly brutal. So these little Chinese kids are whipped into shape in order that a mere one percent of them may become Olympic Team members. Ah, the blessings of totalitarianism. Reply Margaret Coats August 4, 2021 Fast forward to the one percent who make a national team. I recall reading the story of a world champion Chinese athlete. At about age 20, he fell in love with the number three female Chinese athlete in his sport. She was cut from the team and he never saw her again, because it was important for him to focus solely on his game, and remain world champion for as long as possible. Their personal happiness and her athletic career were sacrificed. He defected to the West, back in the days when that was more likely to be a successful escape. Reply Brian Yapko August 3, 2021 Bethany, I really like this poem. The sing-song quality of the meter and the tongue-twisting words contrast sharply (and therefore highlight) the awfulness of the subject matter — little children who are basically abused into becoming products to sell Chinese prestige. The irony is painful… which is good. You’ve nailed it. Reply Bethany Mootsey August 4, 2021 Thank you all for the thoughtful comments! My heart breaks for these children, and the photo Evan chose says it all. I just read this week that China’s quest for gold medals has channeled many children into unpopular sports with multiple categories (eg weightlifting). Even if they win, their futures are uncertain, as they can’t get big endorsements like the gymnasts. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.