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Ancient Chinese Secret, Huh?
340x.jpgFrom the Sports Desk...

There continues to be rumblings and grumblings about the ages of the gold medal winning Chinese gymnastics squad. Especially the age of He Kexin.

Olympic rules state the gymnasts must be sixteen. There are reports that state that He Kexin was born on January 1, 1994, making her 14 when the Games began and therefore ineligible to compete. Apparently there are numerous documents that back this up.

Does this make a Chinese DQ a possibility? I don't know. To be honest, I also don't know how a younger athlete gives you an advantage.

One thing is certain. No matter what the ages of the Chinese gymnasts, Shawn Johnson is still the most adorable little pixie on the planet. You could just spread her on a cracker. Point to America!

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16 Comments

Rev,

This is why we're taking the color Red back. This shit has to end. Fake fireworks, the Milli-Vanilli stunt, and now the 7-year-olds posing as 16 year olds. And yes, Chinese people are smaller in stature overall, so they may have an arguement. A very soft one. Nothing that explains these freakishly young looking "16-year-olds".

said ConservaLiberCrat_08 on August 14, 2008 4:39 PM.

I'm afraid if they probe too deep, they'll find that Shawn Johnson was actually born in a cabbage patch.

said Echowood on August 14, 2008 4:46 PM.

i don't even get why there's an age restriction. as the preacher said what's the advantage of that? if they truly broke the rules then the medals should be given back. though it's not as bad as athletes on 'roids.

said etantao on August 14, 2008 5:06 PM.

It makes me angry when Echo has a better joke than I do. Dammit.

Take the colors back CLC08. Take 'em back.

said Johnny Wright on August 14, 2008 5:11 PM.

Echo's Cabbage patch joke was pretty damn funny.
As the resident womens gymnastics specialist and physicist, I'll explain what the big deal is on younger gymnasts.
As the Olympics progressed throughout the years they found that a smaller, petite, less curvy body allowed the gymnasts to fly higher and perform more difficult manuevers. The absense of mass also allowed for a greater balance. They found that as they worked younger-smaller atheletes they were achieving more desirable scores under the new scoring system established in the 70's. Fearing for the atheletes welfare in 1980 they raised the age from 14 to 15 when they were still getting tiny girls they raised the age to 16. Hence we have the 16 year old rule.
So yeah it's cheating when you throw a 14 year old in there.
DQ China, Take back Red, and give us our gold sucka's!

said Dave on August 14, 2008 5:23 PM.

good explanation.

i heard some of the lame commentator saying that it was within rules if the girl would turn 16 before the olympic year was over.

ex: one that will be 16 next december.

said etantao on August 14, 2008 5:44 PM.

nah, letter keepit, i mean hell she won it! the olympics are all about proving strength, and she did she overcame the odds
not to mention who wants to take away the medal from the 14 year old girl and flat out crush her dreams? that just seems cruel saying, whaaapp, nope, regardless of talent, youre too young! A-Yoinks!

just as a side-hypo-question -thingy, what if the girl were american?

said notjohndoe2 on August 14, 2008 5:49 PM.

If there was a an American lying about her age, I honestly would condemn it as cheating. Hand to heaven I would.

No different than cheating with steroids or performance enhancers. I just don't like cheating in sports. Especially the Olympics. Whether it be Ben Johnson, Marion Jones or 14-year-old gymnasts.

I doubt anything will come of this though.

said Johnny Wright on August 14, 2008 6:04 PM.

If the girl were American... Whap! Give that fricken medal to the Romanians.
Actuallythe Chinese girls didn't overcome the odds, she actually fell right in line with the odds. Odds are if you are smaller and skinnier, in a competition where 5 ounces mean something, yeah you proved the odds.
I mean hell, she's a little girl, and she's innocent. It's her country. They probably mass produced her on a gymnastics farm took her away from her parents stuck her in a fricken training camp for 11 of the 12 years of her life, told her she was two years older than she was and fricken fed her a tablespoon of rice everyday telling her that if she didn't bring home gold to her country that she'd be forced to make Mardi Gras beads for the rest of her life.
Go watch a couple of professional boxing matches. Watch a couple of feather weights, then go to a superheavyweight fight.
Watch the speed and the movement. Same principle.
Reiterating.. It's not the little girls fault it's the Chinese Government. The Olympics are typical China government. Fricken dirty communist SOB's.

said Dave on August 14, 2008 6:14 PM.

Dave is right--it's about child abuse. That's the main reason (as a mother of three girls, two of whom participated in gymnastics) I boycott women's gymnastics.

said Barbwire on August 14, 2008 6:46 PM.

There are three girls on the Chinese team with ambiguous records. Their passports say 16, their school records say 13 or 14. The original rule may be about child abuse, but younger athletes are training just as hard for their chance. The unfairness comes when the US and other countries had to eliminate several outstanding gymnasts because they were not old enough.

said Miss Cellania on August 14, 2008 7:51 PM.

No one has addressed the main issue here, and quite frankly I'm concerned.

These "adorable" children smell like a foot.

said ConservaLiberCrat_08 on August 15, 2008 8:46 AM.

Three things -

All other countries have 12 and 13 year olds who could have medalled to. They are waiting their turn, but the Chinese bumrush the podium, and get praised for doing it?

In addition to to having certain physical edges (such as weighing 63 pounds. 63. Come on!) there is a psychological advantage to being 12 - a lack of self-awareness that will later develop by 16 or so. In other words, the 16 year olds are more keenly aware of the outside pressures and expectations than the 12 year old is. I see it all the time in youth leagues. The younger kids lack in experience, but they make up for it in "not knowing that they aren't supposed to be able to do X skill." On top of all that, the most ideal visual physical style for the judges is lean and petite. Shawn Johnson barely got silver last night, because she was deducted a few times for being built like Mary Lou Retton. The Chinese girl she barely beat out performed far worse on beam, vault and bars, but was nonetheless within striking distance of Silver in the final routine. So - 12 = small, thin, higher, more appealing. It is a natural advantage in the Olympics, which may be an argument for repealing the age restriction for all, but NOT an excuse for the Chinese. Playing at home should have been advantage enough. Age-cheating, which is akin to blood doping in track, is worthy of Mao.

Having said all that, the Americans were amazing last night, and the Russians finally showed up. The Chinese were a lot flatter and mistake-riddled than during team.

said Don't Swayze Bro on August 15, 2008 9:29 AM.

I'm not much of a sports fan, but I am certainly glad someone else is old enough to remember the tagline from that 1970s Calgon ad. I usually get crickets when I toss that one out.

said Jeem on August 15, 2008 10:56 AM.

Scandalous Olympics? Sasquatch? Amy Winehouse?
Calgon take me away!

said E on August 15, 2008 11:17 PM.

It's getting to the point where sporting events should just be judged on which cocktail of performance enhancing drugs your on and it's just preposterous.

said Jeni Gump on August 20, 2008 12:14 PM.
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