I saw this interesting article yesterday about how athletes in China cope with the sports schools, where they enroll Chinese kids who are very young and teach them nothing but sports. The article was good, and the video was good too--I found that footage of the Chinese athletes in the training room inspiring; it's not often Asian Americans see Asian people training to compete at that level. However, the point of the article was the opposite argument--the gist was that the sports schools' heavy focus on sports can sometimes have a negative effect on other aspects of the athletes' lives.
I know the American media sometimes focuses on less flattering images of other cultures, but this article struck a chord with me. I liked the article because it humanized the athletes' effort. I was particularly touched by the story of the Olympic canoeing champion Yang. The guy is literally among the best in the world, and he's only doing it for the money. It's a sad irony.