A young gymnast practises her leaps at Wuhan School of Sport, where dozens of children with sporting potential stay in dormitories away from families. In the 50s, Mao Zedong decided sporting success was important to bring glory and prestige to China. Since then, 3,000 Schools of Sport have been set up. Today the China sports bureau has an annual budget of around $250m to find and train potential champions. Each year thousands of children, some as young as four, are enrolled in the schools and begin the harsh training regimens designed to turn them into Olympians.