BEIJING, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- Various sports activities were held on Tuesday throughout China in commemoration of the Beijing Olympic Games which was believed to have enhanced Chinese national awareness of physical fitness.
Over five thousand people, including fencing Olympic gold medalist Zhong Man, took part in a four-kilometer hike on Tuesday at the Beijing Olympic Sports Center, one kilometer away from the Bird's Nest where the Beijing Olympic Games opened on Aug. 8, 2008.
In January, 2009, the Chinese government made Aug. 8 as "The National Fitness Day" in order to promote the "sport for all" program and commemorate the Beijing Olympics.
Zhong, 34, who won the men's saber gold at the Beijing Olympics, said he attended many "sport for all" activities like the four-kilometer hike in hope of raising the public fitness awareness.
"The walk refreshed me and I am not tired at all. I hope our promotion can help people realize the importance of physical fitness," he said.
Physical fitness is becoming a national obsession with more and more young people taking to marathon running, playing basketball, soccer, body-building and old people enjoying public square dancing.
They posed an arduous task for the government -- how to tackle the lack of public sports facilities?
In June, a brawl erupted between some young basketball players and old dancers in Luoyang, the second biggest city of Henan province, as both sides wanted to use the same court.
This accident highlighted the shortage of public sports facilities, according to Liu Guoyong, the director of the Sport for All Department of the State General Administration of Sports.
"The government should take responsibilities for that problem," he said. "This was not taken into consideration of the urban areas' design in the past. We have a rather huge backlog to do."
With less than 200 meters off the court where the brawl took place, there is a school with a playground which is closed to the public.
It was reported that schools account for around 53 percent of sports facilities in China, but most of them are not open to the public.