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Los Angeles 1932- China's first Olympic Games
One runner- no medal
In 1908 the Olympic Games were first mentioned in a Chinese magazine. Already in 1922 Wang Zhengting became the first Chinese member of the IOC, in 1928 China delegated the first observer to the Games in Amsterdam. When rumours spread in 1932 that the government of the Japanese puppet state Mandschuko had plans to participate in the Games in Los Angeles, a delegation of five- one of them a participating athlete- was quickly put together. The Chinese sprinter Liu Changchun entered the 100m as well as the 200m run but could not qualify for the final runs.
The 11th Olympic Games in Berlin were attended by a team of 69 members but could not win a medal. The next Olympic Games took place in London in 1948 as the Games in 1940 and 1944 had been cancelled due to World War II. There was a Chinese team taking part in the Olympic Games in London in 1948 but the team did not get any financial support from the government and therefore could hardly afford the journey home.
The Olympics and the People's Republic of China (PRC)
After the foundation of the People's Republic and the flight of the government of the Republic of China under Jiang Kaishek to Taiwan both Chinese states wanted to take part in the Olympic Games as the official representative of China. In 1952 the PRC sent a delegation of 40 to the Games in Helsinki while no Taiwanese athlete participated in the Games to protest against the invitation of the PRC.
In 1956 the first severe boycott happened in the history of the Games. While some Western states like Spain, the Netherlands or Switzerland rejected a participation because of the invasion of the USSR in Hungary and Iraq, Lebanon and Egypt did not take part due to the Suez crisis, the PRC boycotted the Games on account of the presence of Taiwanese athletes and the recognition of the National Olympic Committee of Taiwan by the IOC.
In 1958 the PRC interrupted the relations with the IOC because Taiwan was seen as a part of China and from the PRC's point of view the recognition of two Olympic Committees for one country was a violation of the Olympic Charter. China returned to the Games not until the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid of 1980. In the previous year during the IOC meeting in Nagoja the IOC under the presidency of the English Lord Killian had acknowledged the Olympic Committee representing the PRC ( 60 in favor, 17 noes and 2 abstentions). Since then Taiwan competes in the Olympics using the name "Chinese Taipei". In the PRC this was considered a success of Deng Xiaoping's policy "One state, two systems".
The Games of Los Angeles and Seoul
The Games of Los Angeles in 1984 were the first to have athletes from Taiwan as well as athletes from the PRC participating in the Olympics at the same time. During these Games China won its first gold medal. The Chinese athlete XU Haifeng took first place in the men's sporting pistol shooting match. During these Games China won 15 gold medals, 8 silver medals and 9 bronze medals altogether with 225 competing Chinese athletes. During the Games in Seoul in 1988 China could not repeat this success and had to be content with 5 gold, 11 silver and 12 bronze