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Olympic Gymnast Controversy

A new controversy has erupted in the 2008 Olympics within the realm of women’s gymnastics. While numerous technical mistakes and clumsy blunders clearly blocked any hopes of an American gold medal, suspicions about the eligibility of the gold medal winning Chinese team cast their victory in doubt. In competitions leading up to the Olympics, one of China’s leading gymnasts He Kexin was reported as being only 13 years old. Rules for eligibility require competitors to be at least 16 years old sometime during the Olympic year. He Kexin may be the youngest of the Chinese team, but she is not the only member whose age is in question. The IOC seems largely unconcerned and has kept its distance from the controversy in what many are crying is a hybrid appeasement of political and economic desires to keep China’s 1.3 billion strong audience content.

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Does it matter? by EyeOfSage
I don’t want to sound biased….but does it matter? I mean if the opponent is younger than the approved age, doesn’t that mean the other competitor have an advantage[experience, strength, training time] over China’s competitors? I don’t think there should be any age limits at all. If they want a baby to compete in running or a 98 years old to compete in swimming, that’s their choice of candidates right?
0 Votes  - +
Absolutely! by Anonymous

Yes, I can’t see how the US is complaining about someone younger, physically underdeveloped, not as experienced. I think we’re looking for an excuse. We should look into why we brought out of shape not a 100% athlete’s to compete. Is our depth that bad? Why would we only go into a team event with only 4? Is politics in US Gymnastics that strong that we would jeopardize gold for alliances?
I can understand why we complained aout the Little League pitcher who was 15 playing with 11 and 12 year olds. We have to stop making excuses.

Yes. I said it first…You can all use it though. Come on people; especially the Eye of Sage person. You should use your eyes. They upped their olympic team membership by close to 200 people. What is it now, 3 gymnastics tiebreakers go in their favor? For someone claiming a name such as "sage" and "eye" you would almost expect some sort of perception of the obvious.
I am infatuated with their country, their history and their people…God knows their society will be around long after Western Capitalism falls on its face, but you must be aware that they are a total control state which does not accept failure. Remember Tienamen? We’re not perfect in any way, but at least we make an attempt to hide it when we bend the accepted norms. 16 years old my @ss. Voluntary? Umm Hmm…

That was my comment. Sorry, I hadn’t registered yet. Now you can reply directly to me with your thoughts…

Underage gymnasts give a huge advantage.
1 More flexible
2 More resiliant
3 Less aware of the pressure
4 Less "womanly" body mass to move around (ie breasts)
5 less likely to have to deal with menstral issues

Chinese women are normally small anyways. But the big disadvantage with the USA is that US women typically begin to bulk up (reach puberty and blossom) around 15.

Its not excuses by the USA, its cheating by the Chinese, if it is true.


So an enterprising Internet user decided to conduct his own search looking for variations of He Kexin’s official birthday. His search was for various documents containing birthdays and her name which resulted in a couple of hits to include official records from the General Administration of Sport of China. After his findings became virally popular, the documents began disappearing from the various search engines and their respective caches. "Don’t Be Evil" indeed.

To me, I just find it ridiculous that the IOC has turned such a blind eye towards the blatant cheating. I know it’s a different organization, but if characters like Lance Armstrong can be accused of blood doping or enhancements from having chemo-therapy and only one nut … surely somebody should take an interest in what was clearly a rules violation in an equally globally recognized competition.

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