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September 3, 2008

How Old Are The Chinese Gymnasts At The Olympics?

Well, here is another story that smell of scandal to come out of China. The Chinese gymnasts that recently won the gold medals in the Beijing Olympics look pretty young. There is some suspicion that a few of the Chinese gymnasts are underage.

This story is not surprising at this point. China has proven something, and not just in the case of The Games. They will do anything to get the job done and be number one. We saw it through the faulty pharmaceuticals that were being doled out. Then again with the people that were run out of their homes and businesses to make way for the Olympics. Now there are questions about the ages of the gymnasts that have won gold medals.

Athletes must be 16 years old to compete in the Olympics. Some of the girls that have won gold medals do look younger than that. However, that does not necessarily mean that they are. Unfortunately, China does not have a respectable track record when it comes to telling the truth. That is why the suspicions are being taken a little more serious than they would be if they were made against another nation.

The gymnast federation has been asked to do further investigation on whether or not the gymnast are of age. Of course, top Chinese officials are angry about the questions that are being raised. Wang Wei, the executive vice president of the Beijing Olympics Committee says that the international federation authorized the athletes. While most of the information that is being whispered about online is coming from bloggers, China is under such suspicion that people are apt to believe them.

One blogger claims to have proof that He Kexin was born in 1994 and is only 14 years old. This would make her to young for the Olympics and give her an advantage over other gymnasts. The younger and smaller a gymnast is, the more agile they will be. Other gymnasts are rumored to be underage also.

The point that Asians have different figures than people in the West is a good point. The Body Mass Index chart for Asians is different and many Asians are small but at the end of the day, people are people. Children are children and the gymnasts in questions are quite small and look very young in the face. Of course, appearances are not enough to tell someone’s age. The girls could just look very young because of their low weights and stature.

With that said, the New York Times did undercover an article from 2006 that listed He Kexin as being born on January 1,1994. This is not definitive evidence but it is very interesting. Hopefully this is all a misunderstanding. It would be ashamed to see another incident connected with the host country mar The Games. Someone has already been murdered. Nothing else needs to occur to tarnish the China’s reputation. Then again, how will we ever really know the ages of the girls in question? The Chinese government will likely tell us what they want us to hear.

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