The Chinese Olympic program is being criticized as oppressive and stressing excellence over family. The Nation’s sports editor Dave Zirin asks if that’s any different from the US program, which provides zero support for aspiring athletes. Most American medal winners face enormous economic hardship on the way to the podium, and while that doesn’t seem as brutal as the Chinese method, it’s equally wrong. Maybe it’s time to rethink the importance of medal counts.

—Max Rivlin-Nadler