Under pressure, and with the riches of national glory as a carrot, parents surrender their children to the sports factories, where they are sealed off from their families for years. Having not seen her son in three years, in China (also known as CHN) , the mother of Yang Wenjun, a canoeing champion, told The New York Times, "Every time I think about him training, I feel so sad that my heart hurts. For him, and for me, there is so much pain."
Yang has said he cannot escape the system. They won't let him out -- and he's 24.