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Scandal of the Ages: Documents Reveal Underage Chinese Gymnast

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Scandal of the Ages: Documents Reveal Underage Chinese Gymnast The world's foremost expert on female gymnastics Bela Karolyi has routinely referred to the 2008 Chinese team as "half people" and in his contributions to NBC as a commentator during the Games he has railed against the Chinese for engaging in age falsification. After China outscored the US in the qualification round, Karolyi had this to say about the Chinese gymnastics officials: "These people think we are stupid. . .We are in the business of gymnastics. We know what a kid of 14 or 15 or 16 looks like. What kind of slap in the face is this? They are 12, 14-years-old . . ." See the documents for yourself.

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Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 7 years
Well, one factor is that not many countries push their athletes as hard as china does.
crystalm07 crystalm07 7 years
I have been finding it odd since the beginning of competition how well China is doing overall during these games...It wouldn't surprise me a bit if they had conspiracies throughtout the events.
UnDave35 UnDave35 7 years
But incredibly cute.
UnDave35 UnDave35 7 years
But incredibly cute.
kscincotta kscincotta 7 years
Actually, I would argue that our female divers and our female gymnasts look comparable in age. I'm sticking with just the divers because diving generally favors the same body type as gymnastics (and in fact, many divers start out in gymnastics). I would argue that Kelci Bryant (19, 5'3"), Hayley Ishimatsu (16, 4'11") and Mary Beth Dunnichay (15, 5'0") would fit right in with our gymnasts.Although I agree, Shawn Johnson is ridiculously tiny.
kscincotta kscincotta 7 years
Actually, I would argue that our female divers and our female gymnasts look comparable in age. I'm sticking with just the divers because diving generally favors the same body type as gymnastics (and in fact, many divers start out in gymnastics). I would argue that Kelci Bryant (19, 5'3"), Hayley Ishimatsu (16, 4'11") and Mary Beth Dunnichay (15, 5'0") would fit right in with our gymnasts. Although I agree, Shawn Johnson is ridiculously tiny.
amybdk amybdk 7 years
TRUE, kscincotta. However, the same holds true for the American swimmers / gymnasts. Do you suppose they are covering up their age too? What would anyone over the age of 16 -- the minimal age requirement -- have to gain from saying they were older? Shawn Johnson, IMO looks very young! She doesn't exactly look 16.
amybdk amybdk 7 years
TRUE, kscincotta. However, the same holds true for the American swimmers / gymnasts. Do you suppose they are covering up their age too? What would anyone over the age of 16 -- the minimal age requirement -- have to gain from saying they were older?Shawn Johnson, IMO looks very young! She doesn't exactly look 16.
kscincotta kscincotta 7 years
I've heard a lot of people rationalizing this issue by saying that Asian children generally look very young, and certainly, they do. However, as my mom pointed out, the Chinese divers also claim to be 16 and they look significantly older than the supposedly equally 16 year old gymnasts.
amybdk amybdk 7 years
I don't have much faith in the resolve of this dispute.Remember in 2004 when the Korean Yan Tae Young was cheated from his gold medal? The JUDGDES made a scoring mistake and wouldn't / couldn't / didn't correct the situation. I'd be so bitter... Gymnastics seems like it is the most political, corrupt, fishy sport at the Olympics. I'm stressed out now. I need to eat one of cabaker's cupcakes.
amybdk amybdk 7 years
I don't have much faith in the resolve of this dispute. Remember in 2004 when the Korean Yan Tae Young was cheated from his gold medal? The JUDGDES made a scoring mistake and wouldn't / couldn't / didn't correct the situation. I'd be so bitter... Gymnastics seems like it is the most political, corrupt, fishy sport at the Olympics. I'm stressed out now. I need to eat one of cabaker's cupcakes.
sw33tlovin sw33tlovin 7 years
i didn't think it was a big deal. i didn't get the whole age thing. but then i read an article that said that the reason there is an age limit is because when you are younger, gymnastics comes easier; you're barely hitting puberty and your bones aren't fully grown yet. there is also a health risk, having to train at an olympic level at that age.now, i don't think it's right. but it is what it is & i don't think they should be stripped of the gold medal. the IOC needs to start doing their job.
sw33tlovin sw33tlovin 7 years
i didn't think it was a big deal. i didn't get the whole age thing. but then i read an article that said that the reason there is an age limit is because when you are younger, gymnastics comes easier; you're barely hitting puberty and your bones aren't fully grown yet. there is also a health risk, having to train at an olympic level at that age. now, i don't think it's right. but it is what it is & i don't think they should be stripped of the gold medal. the IOC needs to start doing their job.
yaleryn yaleryn 7 years
CHINA's 23 GOLDS! Awesome :)
yaleryn yaleryn 7 years
CHINA's 23 GOLDS! Awesome :)
Meike Meike 7 years
If the IOC strips them of their gold medals, Chinese citizens might know they cheated or maybe they do know and just don't care. After all the evidence shows that it already was reported in the Chinese media that He was 13 in 2007.
janneth janneth 7 years
So just because their government says they are a certain age via a passport, that is the accepted proof? Then why do they have drug testing? Why don't governments just say whether an athlete is on drugs or not? Ha!
janneth janneth 7 years
So just because their government says they are a certain age via a passport, that is the accepted proof?Then why do they have drug testing? Why don't governments just say whether an athlete is on drugs or not? Ha!
Jude-C Jude-C 7 years
...so not surprised.
Jude-C Jude-C 7 years
...so not surprised.
organicsugr organicsugr 7 years
Yeah all that nonsense about being short was really out of left field. No one accused the Chinese of being too short.
flutterpie flutterpie 7 years
Yes, maybe age restrictions should be removed for women's gymnastics so that these kinds of controversy don't happen againSo instead of making countries play by the rules we should just remove the rules so that the countries wont cheat? as far the chinese being shorter that could of been an argument if their "20" year old didnt look 16
flutterpie flutterpie 7 years
Yes, maybe age restrictions should be removed for women's gymnastics so that these kinds of controversy don't happen again So instead of making countries play by the rules we should just remove the rules so that the countries wont cheat? as far the chinese being shorter that could of been an argument if their "20" year old didnt look 16
Michelann Michelann 7 years
"Not to mention, the timing of his comments is not at all obvious..."Actually, he was saying this before the Chinese won gold.
Michelann Michelann 7 years
"Not to mention, the timing of his comments is not at all obvious..." Actually, he was saying this before the Chinese won gold.
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