As national mass sports organizations and members of the All-China Sports Federation, the national associations of individual sports are responsible for making decisions concerning general and specificpolicies, plans and management systems, building related teams and clubs, training reserve forces, organizing scientific research and competitions at different levels, promoting technical exchanges and giving nationwide publicity to the various sports.
Chinese athletes achieved its historical best at the 2002 Winter Olympics, bringing home 2 golds, 2 silvers and 4 bronzes from Salt Lake City. Being a latecomer in winter sports, China owes its rapid progress to the painstaking efforts made over the years. In short-track speed skating and figure skating, China boasts a number of world-class skaters, while in other sports such as skiing and biathlon China has yet a long way to go as far as the overall strength is concerned.
While China excels in many Olympic sports, more non-Olympic sports have developed in this country. Among them the most characteristic is wushu, which has always been closely associated with China and enjoys increasing popularity overseas. Chess and weiqi are also popular with a large number of followers. With an improved economic environment, sports like auto racing, billiards, sepaktakraw, rugby and bowling are fast finding a foothold in China.
China has a wealth of traditional sporting events and folk games, many stretching back over a long period of time and featured in traditional fairs, holidays and celebrations. They include dragon dance, kite flying, dragon boat racing, crossbow, and folk-style wrestling. Over the years the National Ethnic Games have been held on a regular basis, and many of the events have developed and gained popularity among people in different countries and regions.