Chinese Little Gymnastic Moppets

Photographer Yuan Zhang recorded Chinese little gymnastic moppets with her camera. One action should be repeated for hundreds of times and a set of actions should be practiced for five years. About 30 little children take part in the gymnastic team each year, but only a few could hold out until the last.

The coach said that it was a pity for some talented children to give up the gymnastic excises.

Little girls are practicing handstand, holding their body with their tender arms. At the same time, the coach is correcting their actions.


Sometimes, one girl’s cry would produce a chain reaction and all the girls would cry louder and louder. Under this situation, the coach would give off the snacks.


Hanging upside down, just like the bats, can be a way of resting.


The white powder on the surface of hands is magnesium powder, which is used to prevent slipping.


Just holding out


Boys are naughty and like to show off before the camera.


The character on the wall means gold medal, which is the ultimate dream for these children and their parents. Winning a gold medal in China means you can earn a lot of money and have bright future. Therefore, they may not be interested in gymnastics.


In the gymnastic team, these little girls and boys spend their childhood on balance beam, double bar and vaulting horse. They may not know why they do these practices every day. However, they would remember the sweats and tears accompanying them during childhood.


All the photos above are by Yuan Zhang, please don’t use or edit without permission.


3 thoughts on “Chinese Little Gymnastic Moppets

  1. These children seem so serious, for being so young. Is being a gymnast or athlete one of their only ways to success? Is it enjoyable at all? The competition must be so fierce among them. It makes me sad.

    • It may not be enjoyable and interest is not in the first place.

      I think becoming famous, for example by wining golden medals, is one of the easiest ways to success in China. Especially in recent years, sports stars can earn a lot of money and honor. Therefore, more and more parents would take their children to the sports school.

  2. There are a lot of poor families in China. As they have no education at all, this terrible training is one way to leave their poor lives. Ironically, the government is willing to spend huge sum on this but not on education. Pupils in China need to buy their own desks which are bad products.

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