Age controversy tarnishes China gymna...

Age controversy tarnishes China gymnasts' gold quest

There are 159 comments on the Times of Oman story from Aug 6, 2008, titled Age controversy tarnishes China gymnasts' gold quest. In it, Times of Oman reports that:

BEIJING: China's highly-rated gymnastics team heads into the Olympics battling allegations that three of its female members are underage and with enormous pressure from home fans demanding nothing less than ...

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Times of Oman.

First Prev
of 8
Next Last
Nick

Vienna, VA

#1 Aug 13, 2008
Lately, there's been a lot of anger and punishment for athletes who have been doping (cycling) or using steroids/human growth hormone (baseball). If these athletes are held to this high level of scrutiny, then it should clearly be no different, and probably even more tightly monitored, at an event such as the Olympic Games. If the Chinese did in fact have underage girls competing, it gives them a significant advantage over their competitors who abide by the rules, and they should be stripped of their medals just as Marion Jones and other athletes are stripped of their medals for performance enhancing drugs.
Dot

Pittsburgh, PA

#2 Aug 13, 2008
Seriously, 16? Give me a break. If you can't count on the Olympics to be fair, what can you count on. I'm tuning OUT.
Keonjai

Central District, Hong Kong

#3 Aug 13, 2008
Clearly Karolyis is using her American standards to judge the Chinese girls. It's a shame to have a coach to have such a narrow mind. Many coaches love to talk trash and Karolyis just showed how naive Americans really are. You should checkout what these Chinese girls have been eating in their past 16 years. Americans are definitely having a lot more nutritions and they take it for granted. They think everybody on this planet is having the same amount of food when half the world is still living in poverty. Another thing is the Chinese bone structure is clearly smaller compare to the Americans. Are Karolyis comparing Apple to Oranges and then claim the Orange is not red enough? Please give me a break! Why singling out the Chinese team and not complaining about the Russians or the Japanese teams. Those girls also look 14 to everyone! If your team cannot win, don't try to fault it on someone else! If Karolyis really wants the gold medals, she should put up a younger team, instead of sending a 20 year old girl. These days Americans just love to whine about everything.

Since: Sep 07

Hartsdale, NY

#4 Aug 13, 2008
I do have to agree the girls look young... I do not put it past the Chinese government with slipping in girls that are a few years younger than they should be.

That being said, I am Chinese American, 5'9" 152 lbs 29 years old and I still get carded at R-rated movies sometimes and I regularly get mistaken for being a teenager. Maybe it's just all the clean living and exercise I get!
I hate cheaters

United States

#5 Aug 13, 2008
Keonjai wrote:
If Karolyis really wants the gold medals, she should put up a younger team, instead of sending a 20 year old girl. These days Americans just love to whine about everything.
Produce a valid birth certificate for He then! Her new tooth PROVES she's underage. Any dental tech can tell you that! I find it too convienient for the Chinese that the girls have no birth certificates.

Don't accuse American's of whining, if you do, you need to include the OTHER countries that are screaming about it also!

Lies are lies. There is absolutely NO way He is about to be 16! She doesn't even MOVE like a 16 year old! With the entire world pressuring the IOC to investigate... I expect China to lose their medals AND new rules made to prevent this from happening again.

I suggest when they go for drug testing, they also do dental xrays ON SITE.
Gabe

Randolph, MA

#6 Aug 13, 2008
I don't think this is a jealousy issue because most people agree that the US blew it, including the US gymnasts themselves.

There are conflicting numbers with age. I don't know, I don't have documents that say I'm one age and other documents stating I'm another age, I don't know how that works in China.
I hate cheaters

United States

#7 Aug 13, 2008
Gabe wrote:
I don't think this is a jealousy issue because most people agree that the US blew it, including the US gymnasts themselves.
There are conflicting numbers with age. I don't know, I don't have documents that say I'm one age and other documents stating I'm another age, I don't know how that works in China.
It's fishy because they can't produce any birth certificates on the girls. They say there are NONE.
I hate cheaters

United States

#8 Aug 13, 2008
Oh and yeah... the US girls messed up. One even competed with a broken foot. But it still doesn't change the fact that they are lying about the Chinese team members ages.
SquirrelFisher
#9 Aug 13, 2008
I hate cheaters wrote:
<quoted text>
Lies are lies. There is absolutely NO way He is about to be 16! She doesn't even MOVE like a 16 year old! With the entire world pressuring the IOC to investigate... I expect China to lose their medals AND new rules made to prevent this from happening again.
Lol, I would argue that none of those girls move like any 16 year old I know.

They probably are too young. But with the American 4x400m relay team just recently being stripped of their medals because of Antonio Pettigrew's performance enhancing drug usage, not to mention Marion Jones losing her five medals and getting prison sentence for lying about her usage. I'm getting kind of jaded by all of the righteous fervor about which person and/or country cheated or not.

That's just the Olympics... do you remember Andreea Raducan from the 2000 Games in Sydney? She won the Women's Gymnastics individual all-around... only to lose because her doctor gave her pseudophedrine for her cold (her teammate also was given it, but was under the limit because she was heavier so drug levels were lower in her blood test). In the end the IOC admitted that the pseudophedrine was not performance enhancing in this case and that Raducan bore no responsibility (doctor was banned for 2 years). Nevertheless... because of the zero tolerance policy, she was not reinstated as the gold medal winner (although the 2nd place finisher was so outrages, she actually gave her gold medal to Raducan).
Old Guy

Fairfield, CT

#10 Aug 13, 2008
Who cares if they are 6 years old? If they can do it better than a 16 year old they should win. I say give them all drugs too - so what? Everything you eat is some kind of drug anyway.
IHateCheaters2

Redwood City, CA

#11 Aug 13, 2008
I cannot trust the Chinese gov, just look at what they have done to the singing girl ! Being an asian as well, I know one cannot compare Asian with Western/American age based on physical factor, but I truly doubt these young Chinese gymnasts age are really 16. At least one of them (He Kexin) looks way too young.

I would rather have the Olympic commitee to lower the age limit so they can compete. It is a shame if these talented young gymnasts cannot compete because of age.

By the way, don't ask for her birth certificate, I am sure the Chinese gov can produce one in an instant.
Anon

United States

#12 Aug 13, 2008
Yes it's true that we shouldn't complain when a 12 year old can out perform someone with more experience. The age limits are there, however, for a reason. They are there to ensure that CHILDREN aren't forced into the machine and not allowed to grow up like other children. China already has a terrible human rights record and the fact that they force 3 year old girls to go through rigorous training and then compete for their nation at such young ages just furthers this terrible treatment of people.
wow

Saint Paul, MN

#13 Aug 13, 2008
I don't think you realize how much of a selection there is for gymnasts that are under 16 old guy. using younger girls puts you at a huge advantage over other countries. more flexible, and less fear and easier movement.
wow

Saint Paul, MN

#14 Aug 13, 2008
not to mention that they have found records and articles saying that at least 2 of the girls (the best one) on the team are in fact 14.
Stan

Zion, IL

#15 Aug 13, 2008
I hate cheaters wrote:
<quoted text>
Produce a valid birth certificate for He then! Her new tooth PROVES she's underage. Any dental tech can tell you that! I find it too convienient for the Chinese that the girls have no birth certificates.
Don't accuse American's of whining, if you do, you need to include the OTHER countries that are screaming about it also!
Lies are lies. There is absolutely NO way He is about to be 16! She doesn't even MOVE like a 16 year old! With the entire world pressuring the IOC to investigate... I expect China to lose their medals AND new rules made to prevent this from happening again.
I suggest when they go for drug testing, they also do dental xrays ON SITE.
Oh man... Another ignorant American. I'm sorry you are the most obese nation int he world. Americans in general age much faster than Asians because of a hormone laden diet and exposure to more artificial light. This has been proven by the WHO and other international studies. In women, the age of puberty is 3 to 6 years before that of Chinese. As far as the documentation, it's already been provided. Birth certs, school enrollement, and national ID cards which have all been varified by the IOC. If they are forged, it would have to have been a plot concieved at birth. Oh wait, I guess a document is only valid if it's American...
Simon

Central District, Hong Kong

#16 Aug 13, 2008
Anon wrote:
The age limits are there, however, for a reason. They are there to ensure that CHILDREN aren't forced into the machine and not allowed to grow up like other children.
Hi there,

I think you got a point, but also missed it. Don't consider living in China is the same as in US. Most of the people in China are still living in poverty. Participating in sports let them (and their families) have a chance to escape from it. So, a lot of parents sent their kids to training camps held by the government, hoping their children can be the next Olympic stars. In China, this is the shortest path to gain a better living and a future. No matter what the age limit was set, 16 or 26, the situation will be the same to these kids. They would still be training like hell, from the age of 6 or 7. However, these kids also think this is the best way to earn a living. If they stay in their villages, they would just become farmers or factory workers. Not many of them would be lucky enough to have chance to go to school. So sad.

Please, stop using the US point of view to judge. To you guys, the Olympic medal is an lifetime achievement of a gymnast, but to the Chinese this medal is the LIFE of a gymnast.
plc

Dallas, TX

#17 Aug 13, 2008
"KEONJAI" and "SIMON"; both you people seem to be asking for a pitty party, poor Chinese, proverty, no food, etc... We, the US, have proverty, hungry people, as well. Both our countries haven't learned how to take care of their own. Maybe with your population problem, hunger, etc., your people should focus more on humanity than the olympics. I, for one, would never give my child over to someone at the age of 3, see them maybe once a year, so that they may have a REMOTE chance at competing. It's true, you guys seem to honor your elderly. You should honor your children also. I believe you make a big deal of honoring your elderly because you all seem to be neglected in the formative years. I couldn't care less if a 6 year old competes; however, it's against the rules. China should be held to the same rules as all other participants. China should compete honorably, not dishonorably. Your gold metal was not earned. And, to those who are saying that the children just look young, it was actually one of your coaches that said they were underage. Back to your pitty party, maybe instead of spending so much on the opening ceremony, you should have used that money in more important ways, such as feeding your hungry. My best friend is Chinese and so is her husband. It took them 15 years to get their entire family over here and out of that "Hell Hole", as they call it. Also, you must be in America is you're surfing the web. Isn't that a "no no" for your people?
Arianne

Oakland, CA

#18 Aug 13, 2008
While I'm normally a fan of the Chinese teams in acrobatic events (they absolutely blew me away in men's gymnastics and in all the diving events so far), they NEED to be investigated in women's gymnastics for their ages. As some one mentioned before, Andrea Raducan had her gold stripped for a stupid cold pill back in 2000. Deliberately lying about your athletes' ages is far worse than that, in my opinion.
to Keonjai: your argument that the Chinese are under developed because they're poor is absurd. If this is the case, why do other Chinese athletes (such as the male gymnasts) look perfectly well developed? Remember too that Karolyis is from Romania, which was at the time an extremely poor, hungry, and oppressed communist country. Calling him out as an example of American ignorance shows more ignorance on your part, not his.
The argument that the Chinese look younger due to genetics is also faulty. If this is the case, why do the male Chinese gymnasts, divers, and other athletes look just as developed as the athletes from other countries in the same events? Why aren't we hearing people complain about the ages of the female Chinese Synchronized divers, who are [presumably] just as young as the gymnasts? Is there a gene that only affects women's gymnastics, very conveniently the one sport where being underage gives a huge advantage?
Evidence that the Chinese are underage is NOT just based on the way that the Chinese look, either. There is actual recorded data that suggests that the Chinese coaches/government changed the birthdates of their female gymnasts to make them older (e.g. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/27/sports/olym... ). The official documentation that the Chinese gave included passports, which can easily be faked (Karolyis knows this, as he was from an oppressive communist state).
Stan, the fact that you are calling Americans ignorant and then calling us "the most obese nation int he world" just demonstrates your hypocrisy. None of us on this forum insulted the Chinese people, or the people from anywhere else in the world.
The bottom line is that the Chinese women's gymnastics team should at least be investigated.
wow

Circle Pines, MN

#19 Aug 13, 2008
Stan wrote:
<quoted text>
Oh man... Another ignorant American. I'm sorry you are the most obese nation int he world. Americans in general age much faster than Asians because of a hormone laden diet and exposure to more artificial light. This has been proven by the WHO and other international studies. In women, the age of puberty is 3 to 6 years before that of Chinese. As far as the documentation, it's already been provided. Birth certs, school enrollement, and national ID cards which have all been varified by the IOC. If they are forged, it would have to have been a plot concieved at birth. Oh wait, I guess a document is only valid if it's American...
You obviously don't read the news and don't pay attention. The only documents they have provided to justify their age were passports that were coincidentally made this year. Outside sources have already found documentation saying the girls are 14. These include Chinese newspaper articles talking about newcomers to the junior level last year and meet records of previous years stating their birth dates as 1992 making them 14.

I am sick of you assholes who think just because we are American we are some how worse then you. I don't hate you because you are from another country. If you come here I treat you with respect even though there might be a communication gap. I don't call you stupid or treat you like crap like you would if I came to your country.
Stan

Zion, IL

#20 Aug 13, 2008
wow wrote:
<quoted text>
You obviously don't read the news and don't pay attention. The only documents they have provided to justify their age were passports that were coincidentally made this year. Outside sources have already found documentation saying the girls are 14. These include Chinese newspaper articles talking about newcomers to the junior level last year and meet records of previous years stating their birth dates as 1992 making them 14.
I am sick of you assholes who think just because we are American we are some how worse then you. I don't hate you because you are from another country. If you come here I treat you with respect even though there might be a communication gap. I don't call you stupid or treat you like crap like you would if I came to your country.
You just proved my point. Re-read my comment. I told you to read the IOC report. It cites multiple independent documents for each athelete which the commission checked and approved. The commission did not have a single Chinese member. So are you saying the French, Russians, Australians, and Brazilians are in on this conspiracy? Oh wait, you're only source is the western media, not the official documents filled with the IOC...And your comments drip with racism, just because somebody doesn't look like you (puberty at age 12 and immense muscle and bone development), they must be cheaters. Right, non-westerners are "children." Calling the Chinese "kids" just like white Americans called blacks "boy" and "girl" in racist America and South Africa, denying them status as adult humans. I'm sorry you're not watching the real "olympics" which showcase talent in all sports with competitors from all nations (even the sports where the U.S. is not dominate in). Americans on NBC just watch a swimming meet and a gymnastics tourney they THOUGHT they would win. Oopps! No coverage of all those nasty non-whites and pretentious Europeans...

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker
First Prev
of 8
Next Last

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Olympic Gymnastics Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
Diversity is White Genocide Nov 7 68709klgm 1
News Russian hackers have been condemned after gaini... Sep '16 Jelly Belly Popcorn 1
News A bizarre rule will keep reigning US gold-medal... Aug '16 Don j 5
News U.S. gymnastics: Who will be the final five? Jul '16 Life Is Good 1
News Aurora gymnast Whelan gets celebrity treatment ... (Jun '15) Mar '16 Fart news 5
News Beth Tweddle recovering from neck surgery after... (Feb '16) Feb '16 Fart news 2
News MIAA Reinstates Boys' Gymnastics, Aly Raisman H... (Jun '13) Jun '13 leepsika 2
More from around the web