China's Yi Siling was estimated to get an award worth 1.5 million yuan ($235,500) for winning her nation's first gold medal in women's shooting 10m air rifle on July 28, the first gold awarded at the Games, according to Beijing News.
The nation's first Olympic gold medal winner has always been spotlighted in the past, as well as handsomely rewarded. The first gold medalist of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games was awarded more than 5 million yuan, while second winner received 1.5 million yuan.
Is "first gold" really more important than other gold medals?
There is no doubt that the athletes pay for their victories with hardship. However, the first gold medal is mainly decided by the finish time of each event, which means luck is the most important factor. I congratulate Yi, but we should not pay too much attention to this so-called "first gold".
Is a gold medal unimportant to Chinese? For the government, especially the Sports departments, gold medals mean everything. It is a validation for the performance of the officials. But I think the government should make more efforts for the everyday people of the country. When all Chinese practice good sportsmanship and exercise themselves, China can be called a country with Olympic spirit.
The first gold medal raises morale. But it is really all about luck.
Yi won the first gold medal, and Yu Dan got the first bronze medal and they were treated totally differently. Yu's name did not appear on the congratulatory message from the State Council. CCTV did not give her a close-up shot. When the reporters wanted to interview Yu after interviewing Yi, they found she had already left. A gold medal seems to be the only standard for a sportsman in China.
Every athlete who has made an effort in the Olympic Games is a hero. It is disrespectful to forget or neglect them.