This year can really be considered as the year of big sports events in Taiwan. In July, the World Games were held in Kaohsiung, and in September the Deaflympics took place in Taipei. So, is Taiwan actually a sports nation?
When watching the Taiwanese sports channels on TV, this suggestion seems to be true, however, a sports nation’s feature isn’t necessarily that a lot of people like to watch sports games, isn’t it? Everyday when I take the bus, I see a lot of people on the sports fields jogging or playing basketball. I often see baseball teams on the baseball fields between Xindian and Zhonghe as well as Sanzhong and Xinzhuang and in the morning there are lot of people going into the parks for practicing Tai Chi or dancing. However, I have never seen those people by myself, because the time of 6am does not really count to be my most active one, haha.
In Taiwan, I also met a lot of people who play badminton, which is very interesting for me since I played badminton myself in Germany. 😉 Hiking at the mountains or cycling in the plains also seems to belong to the favorite sport activities of Taiwanese people.
However, for Germans, there is a very important question: What about playing soccer in Taiwan? So far, I just saw a few Taiwanese playing soccer and the Taiwanese national soccer team really seems to be at sixens and sevens since they are really without any success. I have heard that some foreigners founded their own soccer club, but except the Taiwanese who like to watch soccer matches, playing soccer seems not to be that popular in Taiwan. Except for one of my former German students (a 14-year girl), I don’t know any other soccer playing Taiwanese. But it’s totally okay, as long as they cheer for the German team, everything will be alright! 😉
In Germany, handball and swimming are also quite popular sports. There seems to be no handball at all in Taiwan, at least I have never seen it in Taiwan. And swimming? Well, I know that Taiwanese have a quite special attitude towards water, what I don’t know is whether this attitude of many Taiwanese really has such a big influence, however, I just know a few Taiwanese who go swimming regularly.
To sum it up, I think that Taiwan offers a variety of possibilities to do sports. Most of the outdoor activities can be done throughout the whole year. (in Germany, we think that outdoor sports at 10 degrees are no problem at all ;)) What is a little bit sad is that Taiwan, except in baseball, has no other world class sports team, especially in soccer, Taiwan, in comparison to other Asian countries (Japan, South Korea, China, even North Korea), really lags behind.