Author Topic: About the age of some Chinese Olympic Gymnasts  (Read 9236 times)

万精油

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About the age of some Chinese Olympic Gymnasts
« on: 八月 28, 2008, 08:14:19 pm »
A friend pointed me to one article written by a Washington Post columnist. The article is about the age of some of the Chinese Olympic gymnasts. At the end of the article, there are comments from many readers. The main theme of those comments are "Chinese government are liers", "Chinese are liers", "China should not be allowed to host Olympics", "Chinese gymnasts don't deserve those gold", etc etc. I do not know what is the real age of those girls, but feel this anti-Chinese atmosphere in that column needs to be cool down a little, thus wrote the following reply.

--万精油--

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Many posts here have sentences like "the fact is that Chinese gymnasts
are under aged...", "I know for a fact that He Kexin is under aged
... ", etc. I have to ask you, what fact? What do you consider as
fact? The truth is, other than He Kexin's mother and her doctor, only
a handleful of people know He Kexin's exact birth date as a fact. Not
even Chinese Olympic officials know it as a fact, definitely neither
do you. Unless, your definition of the word "fact" is different from
dictionary.

"They look very young, no more than 13...", you said. It is well known
that slim and petite body has an advantage in gymnastics. With this
advantage, natually, top level gymnasts tend to have a smaller and
petite body than general average. To turn the table around, if you met
Shawn Johnson on the street, would you honestly believe she's over 15?
"But He Kexin looks much younger than Shawn Johnson" you said. It is
also well known that Chinese woman have smaller body than american
woman. A couple of years ago there was a news in CNN reporting that a
Chinese American woman, being a district attoney, was still being asked
for ID when she wanted to buy a PG13 movie ticket. Shawn Johnson is
selected out from 300 million american people, He Kexin is selected
out from 1.3 billion people, more standard deviation away. In fact I
am surprised that He Kexin does not look younger. My point is, some
chinese girl may appear to be young in your eye, it does not
neccessarily mean that they are young.

"There are evidence that show they are under aged...", What evidence?
"Documents digged out from internet...". Well, there are documents on
the internet that claim Roswell Aliens is coming out any day;
Armageddone is coming in two weeks; etc etc. Do you believe them?
"But they are from some Chinese government agency website...", Well,
you can also find documents from White House website that claim WMD
exist in Iraq, Do you trust that? "One way or the other, Chinese
government are liers...", American presidents are lieers, George W
Bush lied in front the whole world and Bill Clinton lied in court
under oath. All Government lie. Tell me something new.

"OK, I agree american government also lies. That's not the issue
here. The issue here is that there exist documents on Chinese official
sites that contradict each other on the gymnasts' age, how do you
explain that, what are we supposed to believe?". Good, now that I have
pull you down from your high moral horse, we can calmly discuss this
issue.

Ever since Beijing was selected to host the 2008 Olympics (back in
2001, seven years ago). China started to prepare for it. In
particular, they started to select kids to train for this Olympics.
They knew the 16 year age rule. Why would they want to select a 8 year
old instead of a 9+ year old kid to train? Please note at that time
they were not good gymnasts yet. There's no reason to spend a lot of
effort to train someone who would have age problem while there were
plenty of talented and age qualified kids to choose from (remember
there are 1.3 billion people in China). China has spent so much on
this Olympis to make it a success, why risk such little things. It's
not as if China is lacking of talented gymnasts. If you know
mandarine, here's a document film that talks about this.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mk8ZwHd2GA8 The document is 11 minutes
long. Around 10 minute point in the film, you will see the age of the
kids being trained. One of them was Jiang Yuanyuan, one of the 2008
Olympic gymnasts. The film was made in 2003, you would not think
Chinese government started to lie about these girls age back in 2003.

"If that's true, how do you explain the birth date of He Kexin is
listed as 1/1/1994 in one of the government agency site?" First of
all, it is not the Chinese Olympic website. The story I heard (I don't
know this for a fact, but from various sources, I find it very
believable) is that in China's city games (competition among different
cities), there was a limit on the gymnasts' age. They have to be
between 13 and 15. Gymnasts who's above 15 are not allowed to
participate. He Kexin's local city wanted to use He Kexin to win
medals for the city and listed her as born in 1/1/1994, thus qualify
for the city games. Later, one stupid journalist who doesn't know
better, boasted about young atheletes wins medals, and also put
something on some websites. All of this have generated several
documents that had 1/1/1994 as He Kexin's birth date, but we now know
that's just the birth date for the city games. Chinese Olympic
officials have shown to IOC He Kexin's true birthday, alone with old
films with her in it, her old passports (with other country's visa on
it) etc etc, and IOC feel convinced and thus issued the statement.

"Even without the age problem, Chinese gymnast do not deserve some of
the golds, the judges were biased towards Chinese, they gold should be
Americans...." you said. I am not sure about that, and we would never
be sure if it is true or not. Any sports referenced by human would
have this problem. Suppose it is true, I would not be surprised. It
used to be the other way around. It used to be that American athelets
have tremendous advantage from biased jdges. In one of the previous
Olympics, Chinese diver Xiong Ni performed noticably better than
American diver Greg Louganis, but the judges favored Louganis and he
got the gold. Even Louganis himself later admits that he felt lucky.
Americans used to be respected and favored around the world. However,
time has changed. Ever since George W Bush became the President, US's
reputation in the world has taken a big dive (just like American
dollars). Americans are hated in many parts of the world. Don't blame
the judges, blame George Bush. :)

My suggestion to you is: Let go. Move on to some more important
issues. Issues like human right (e.g. why did Americans invaded Iraq
and violate Iraqies human right), or Energy crisses (e.g. why does US
emits half of the Car-Caused greenhouse gas globally when its
population is less than 1/20th of the world) etc etc.

Have a good day.
« Last Edit: 五月 04, 2010, 01:37:11 pm by 万精油 »