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YOUR RESPONSE: Olympics Women's Gymnastics - China Too Under-aged?
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28 / F / USA
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Posted 8/14/08

Incontrovertible wrote:

Red - Talent and determination is not age based so that comment is basically worthless.

About the talent before age shit. Nadal was practicing tennis by the age of 4 and he didn't turn pro until he was 18. There are still prereqs that should be met no matter how talented or great the athlete.

Asians look younger yes, but not like they're fucking 9-11. There is NO way in hell they should be that tiny. Also this fact tends to play a factor when Asians get older not when they are still trying to hit their first growth spurt.

Also girls hit puberty at like 9 or 12... I forgot the exact age when they "should" hit it.

The age factor is a big issue because it determines the athletes bodily maturity. Its a lot easier to spin and do flips when you're 10 than when you're 16-17.

Just because someone is older doesn't make it easier for them. Thats like saying when Pete Sampras was 30 he should be able to beat a 24 year old Federer because hes older.

Patrick Ryan's views are soooo on point.

Just a random question, but are you Chinese?





Um, to answer your first question...no, I'm not Chinese but Asian-American. You know what? You are fine with your opinion, good for you but respect mine, too. Without being defensive, it IS possible to be that tiny at 16. Why not?! People have different body types and it grows differently with each individuals especially those in sports such as gymnastics. I'm not questioning that...it's true fact!

First of all, the girls are not 10...they are infact between 15-20 so the comparison you made between a 10 year old to a 16-17 is not really something to argue about. As far as when puberty hits, you are definitely wrong because it's different with each individual. From experience, I hit puberty at 13 while I know people who have at 14-15 and we turned out pretty normal.

In addition, I never questioned age and whether or not their athleticism is better than the other. I agree with you, age has nothing to do with how athletic someone is! I've actually opposed that argument with a user on Youtube where his believed that the younger you are, the better of an athlete. That's biased and rather wrong because for example, swimmer Torres is 41 year old and still managed to win gold against those who were younger than her.
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25 / F / the land of palm...
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Posted 8/14/08
Hmmm... the scoring was kinda suspicious. The Chinese girl wobbled alot yet she was somehow able to get the bronze... I swear so much shit is happening in this year's Olympics. Fake singing, fake fireworks, gymnastic age scandal, gymnastic scoring scandal...this is going down history, lol.

On the other hand, Nastia Liukin won!!
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28 / F / USA
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Posted 8/14/08 , edited 8/14/08
The scoring wasn't suspicious! I think the commentors were highly biased. They're not judges for a reason and so I don't take what they say too seriously. Plus, if you guys noticed...after Yelin performed the beam, the lady commenter said "beatable". How rude and inconsiderate was that?!?! In fact, they hardly commented something good or constructive towards the Chinese but they did point out all their little mistakes--they did the opposite when USA performed.

The points were a little too high for Yuyuan but Yelin put up a great fight! Her scores were just about right and she did great on the beam. It's unfortunate that the commentors for these events seemed to be pro-USA more than ever. I wanted someone from China to give their POV but I doubt that will happen....

Regardless of the biased commentors, I'm glad for Liukin! She's a great competitor and very underrated. Glad she proved how great she could be for the U.S. team tonight! Well-deserved gold!
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Posted 8/14/08

axbabe04u wrote:


cjay_weeps wrote:

Ok, I'm not really arguing with you about the younger the better as far as alot of the sports are concerned. However, there are age requirements in the Olympics, and I don't think because you are from a certain country that they are void of the rules. I grew up doing gymnastics, and it can be extremely hard on your body, and actually halt puberty in some girls (ammenoria is what it is called, but I think I spelled it wrong...sorry). And that my be a reason that the girls look so young. And, as I said in my previous post, since the IOC has decided not to investigate further, the girls' ages shouldn't be questioned any longer. I have no reason to think that the girls' aren't 16+. And, actually, I'm extremely happy that the China team won, this is the first time I didn't root for the U.S. gymnast's.



I'm familiar with that because even though I didn't play gymnastics growing up, my eldest sister did. I believe it did limit her height but because she only did it for a couple of years and then stopped, she managed to grow. I think gymnastics is probably the toughest on the body because it prevents, like you said, puberty in both the girls and the boys. Most of them look young too because of the fact that it's hard for them to get taller...(not implying that height measures your age either since that would be complete biased).

I, too, am extremely excited for China in gymnastics in both men and women and this is also my first time not rooting for the U.S.!!! hahah



So we agree? Good!

Actually, I feel kinda bad for not rooting for the U.S. gymnasts, but...the Chinese teams are just better. I'm happy for all the competitors, regardless of where they are from.
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28 / F / USA
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Posted 8/14/08

cjay_weeps wrote:


axbabe04u wrote:


cjay_weeps wrote:

Ok, I'm not really arguing with you about the younger the better as far as alot of the sports are concerned. However, there are age requirements in the Olympics, and I don't think because you are from a certain country that they are void of the rules. I grew up doing gymnastics, and it can be extremely hard on your body, and actually halt puberty in some girls (ammenoria is what it is called, but I think I spelled it wrong...sorry). And that my be a reason that the girls look so young. And, as I said in my previous post, since the IOC has decided not to investigate further, the girls' ages shouldn't be questioned any longer. I have no reason to think that the girls' aren't 16+. And, actually, I'm extremely happy that the China team won, this is the first time I didn't root for the U.S. gymnast's.



I'm familiar with that because even though I didn't play gymnastics growing up, my eldest sister did. I believe it did limit her height but because she only did it for a couple of years and then stopped, she managed to grow. I think gymnastics is probably the toughest on the body because it prevents, like you said, puberty in both the girls and the boys. Most of them look young too because of the fact that it's hard for them to get taller...(not implying that height measures your age either since that would be complete biased).

I, too, am extremely excited for China in gymnastics in both men and women and this is also my first time not rooting for the U.S.!!! hahah



So we agree? Good!

Actually, I feel kinda bad for not rooting for the U.S. gymnasts, but...the Chinese teams are just better. I'm happy for all the competitors, regardless of where they are from.




Yes, all is well! hahah U.S. gymnastics team isn't bad this year but not so great either. I felt that the Chinese gymnastics showed their presence and I was definitely taken back by their great performance as a team and as individuals. With the U.S., I'm actually a great fan of Liukin now and glad she won gold at the all-around despite that fact I was hoping China will prevail. Then again, the games in gymnastics are far from over and I'll be tuning in every single one of them. Of course, my favorite in China this Olympics will not change!

Did Russia surprise you this year? Those girls who competed in tonight's all-around surprised me with what they could do! I was definitely wow'd! hahah
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28 / F / USA
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Posted 8/14/08

nene817 wrote:

Those girls are clearly underage. And yes, it is important because those are the rules. It doesn't matter how talented they are if they are not following regulations. And gymnastics is a very strenuous sport. To get girls that are not fully developed to participate on the Olympic level can cause negative effects for their growth. There's a reason why there is an age minimum. By 16, most girls have already had their period, and are done growing.




Again, their age allegations were never proven so people should just acknowledge them for their talent rather than the way they look or how young they may look. In fact, I thought they looked too young to be 15-16 too but then, you can't just judge someone (age) by the way or how young they look. It'll be wrong because speaking of experience, some people have thought I'm only 15-17 or 24 when I'm only 22....it changes on my mood, the time of day, or the way I dress. hahah

Anyway, if people are so worried about puberty and gymnastics, then why is it okay for gymnastics during middle school? It's one of those icky topics but I'm contempt with how they run things now...it could always get better and I believe they should atleast lower the age qualification to 14 but I highly doubt it will change anytime soon.
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28 / F / USA
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Posted 8/14/08 , edited 8/14/08

Jesterj wrote:

Yes, I am implying the allegations are true I mean when the Chinese government's news agency reports at least one the girl's ages as being 13 nine months before the Olympics. Then a news article may 23rd of this year has her age as 14 clearly she had a birthday. Unless two media sources messed her age up I would say it is fairly probable she is under age. Especially when the page on the site in question up and vanished a few hours after it was discovered. If it had merely been a misprint wouldn't it be simpler to state it as such rather than just take that page down. Oh, and it seems the swimming events don't have age limits for some reason or the age qualifications are more openly ignored. Which I will admit makes no sense to me.

Edit: Oh, and just to let me clarify I am not at all questioning the skills or talent of the Chinese woman's gymnastics team. They did extremely well and clearly deserved to win gold. Assuming of course all of these allegations prove to be false.






To actually believe that the allegations are true, is your decision. For me, I choose to be more optimistic and try to be more realistic about the situation and to not judge these girls because they do look young for their age. Looks can be very deceiving and I've experienced this all my life. Plus, I've always believed it's just not fair to do so...as for that article, yeah yeah, I've read it. People always misprinted age so that's not even an issue to me. As for swimming, I guess they don't have a limit so I have no argument with it...

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Posted 8/15/08
I don't see anything wrong actually I'm amazed and i admire them for being able to participate in the olympics at such a young age. They're so talented so they deserve the medal. Maybe they're just unsettled at their appearance looking far too young. I thought athletes are trained to focus and perform well under pressure.
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25 / F / the land of palm...
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Posted 8/15/08 , edited 8/15/08
The commentors actually pointed out the little mistakes team USA did... They just didn't do alot that's why there was nothing really to point out. Except for Shawn Johnson's one wobble on the balance beam, she didn't do any balance checks yet when Yuyuan performed, she did numerous wobbles/balance checks and still got the same Execution score as Shawn. I didn't need the commentors comments to tell that the scoring was suspicious.

Also, that uneven bar performance, Nastia performed so damn well, but her score was lower than that of Yang Yilin (I think that was her who performed on the uneven bars). They both had that little step when they landed, but somehow, just somehow, Nastia scored lower. HA.

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19 / F / Nueva York
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Posted 8/15/08 , edited 8/15/08
damn. the US is so fucking jealous of China jsut because now they have like 22 gold while US has only 14.
we all know that asians are shorter, skinnier, and just takes a longer time to reach puberty. well most.
who cares about age. why is there even a min. age to the olympics anyways?
the US is just embarassed that girls that look about 10 can beat them who are 20 or so.
also...i bet you anything, the judges, some of them, are biased..and definitely racist.

maybe they are underage...doesn't seem impossible...but wouldn't that just make the US more embarrassed if people of age 10 can screw up people double their age?
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28 / F / USA
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Posted 8/15/08 , edited 8/15/08

xoxo__babygurl wrote:

The commentors actually pointed out the little mistakes team USA did... They just didn't do alot that's why there was nothing really to point out. Except for Shawn Johnson's one wobble on the vault, she didn't do any balance checks yet when Yuyuan performed, she did numerous wobbles/balance checks and still got the same Execution score as Shawn. I didn't need the commentors comments to tell that the scoring was suspicious.

Also, that uneven bar performance, Nastia performed so damn well, but her score was lower than that of Yang Yilin (I think that was her who performed on the uneven bars). They both had that little step when they landed, but somehow, just somehow, Nastia scored lower. HA.




At the beam, I saw a 1 or 2 more mistakes where she looked like she was about to lose balance but it was minor. And who knows why Yuyuan had a better excution score especially since I'm not an expert to look at mistakes beyond the eye so I can't comment on that. If there were any mistakes on judging, they will hold and review...that's always open for discussion between the judges.

As for the uneven bars, the difference between Yilin and Liukin were only by a small amount and I thought it was more than fair; infact, the landing step that Liuking made were a little bigger than Yilin. Both had great form, too! The commentors have always been suspicious of the scores with China so that's nothing new. I am still a little surprise that China decided to qualify Juang Yuyuan in the competition in the first place considering the vault will knock her chances out from the medal. She also had the same unfortunate fall out with the landing during the pre-eliminary round but she is a promising gymnist. I hope to see more of her in the next few individual rounds as well as future gymnastic meets and heck, even the next Olympics!

As for the floor, Russia surprised me good with their routines but it just wasn't enough!

Oh, and I'm happy for Luikin in winning the gold! She deserved it and I actually prefer her over Johnson. Both promising gymnist and it'll be exciting to see them in future Olympics.
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74 / F / Seattle-ish
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Posted 8/15/08 , edited 8/15/08

axbabe04u wrote:


cjay_weeps wrote:


axbabe04u wrote:


cjay_weeps wrote:

Ok, I'm not really arguing with you about the younger the better as far as alot of the sports are concerned. However, there are age requirements in the Olympics, and I don't think because you are from a certain country that they are void of the rules. I grew up doing gymnastics, and it can be extremely hard on your body, and actually halt puberty in some girls (ammenoria is what it is called, but I think I spelled it wrong...sorry). And that my be a reason that the girls look so young. And, as I said in my previous post, since the IOC has decided not to investigate further, the girls' ages shouldn't be questioned any longer. I have no reason to think that the girls' aren't 16+. And, actually, I'm extremely happy that the China team won, this is the first time I didn't root for the U.S. gymnast's.



I'm familiar with that because even though I didn't play gymnastics growing up, my eldest sister did. I believe it did limit her height but because she only did it for a couple of years and then stopped, she managed to grow. I think gymnastics is probably the toughest on the body because it prevents, like you said, puberty in both the girls and the boys. Most of them look young too because of the fact that it's hard for them to get taller...(not implying that height measures your age either since that would be complete biased).

I, too, am extremely excited for China in gymnastics in both men and women and this is also my first time not rooting for the U.S.!!! hahah



So we agree? Good!

Actually, I feel kinda bad for not rooting for the U.S. gymnasts, but...the Chinese teams are just better. I'm happy for all the competitors, regardless of where they are from.




Yes, all is well! hahah U.S. gymnastics team isn't bad this year but not so great either. I felt that the Chinese gymnastics showed their presence and I was definitely taken back by their great performance as a team and as individuals. With the U.S., I'm actually a great fan of Liukin now and glad she won gold at the all-around despite that fact I was hoping China will prevail. Then again, the games in gymnastics are far from over and I'll be tuning in every single one of them. Of course, my favorite in China this Olympics will not change!

Did Russia surprise you this year? Those girls who competed in tonight's all-around surprised me with what they could do! I was definitely wow'd! hahah


I agree that the U.S. team isn't bad, I think it was just their attitudes going into it that turned me off, but I just felt that China needed rooting on more than the U.S. And the China team was MUCH better, in my opinion.

And, yes, those Russian girls did amazingly well; too bad they didn't medal. The scoring seems off to me, though this year, not sure why.

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74 / F / California
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Posted 8/15/08
I don't understand why people are raising up the age issue. It's a fact that asians tend to look younger than their age. I have a cousin who is 18 that could pass for 10. Seriously we went to a restaurant together and the waiter asked if we wanted a kids menu and they stared at me shocked when I said that she was 18. Anyways I think the Chinese gymnastic teams, men and women did great! I think they deserve the medals and it makes me mad when other people accused them of cheating. They have talent and I don't understand what does age have anything to do with cheating. They should remove the age restriction because if you have talent to get into the Olympics then it shouldn't matter what age you are.
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25 / M / US
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Posted 8/15/08 , edited 8/15/08

axbabe04u wrote:
Why is there issue about these Chinese women's gymnastic team and their age? Are those who seem to have a problem with it only intimidated by it? I always believed that one should be measured by their talents first despite their age. China's gymnastics is practiced when these kids were at the age of 3-4 so they are likely more than qualified by the age of 14-15.

Those girls have done a great job managing their team througout the Olympic competitions and they well-deserved the gold medal and that is despite their age! In a way, you could say that USA (from age 16-20) were beaten by a team that were atleast 2 years younger then ALL of them. Doesn't that sound worst?

OK. Age does matter in gymnastics. The rule was designed to keep out prepubescent children to keep them from stunting their growth. However younger gymnasts do have an advantage in competition. They have lower body weight and bone density (which is why it is far more dangerous for them to compete). This means that they can fly farther on most exercises. However possibly the largest advantage is that during puberty the center of gravity shifts higher in women. If the Chinese Gymnasts are prepubescent then this will make it much easier for them to balance on all events. Anyway you are assuming that no countries which followed the rules had Olympic quality gymnasts under the age of 16. Nastia Liukin would have been on the US team in the last Olympics if she had not been underage.


axbabe04u wrote:
[Being an Olympic and a gymnastics fan, I am quite offended by this inconsiderate, disrespectful, and a bit biased article towards the Chinese womens gymnastic's team. China won the gold fairly and it was clearly USA's major mistakes that deserved them the silver, respectively!

In addition, wouldn't most of you agree that Asian's tend to look younger than the average person? Of course, this doesn't apply for everyone but generally, it is believed so. There are other articles that says they have proven that atleast 3-4 of the Chinese women's gymnastics team are underaged which contradicts with the Olympics age qualifications but the passports of these girls stated they were 16. Other than Cheng Fei (20), I instantly believed that the other girls seemed too young to be 16 but that notion dissappeared after I saw how talented and determined they were in what (one of the things) they do best, gymnastics.

Just so you know this story was originally reported by a Chinese media source before it was picked up by the New York Times. Anyway I find it very likely that they are underage. Online records listing Chinese gymnasts and their ages that were posted on official Web sites in China, along with ages given in the official Chinese news media all showed that at least three of the gymnasts are underage. I don't believe that you can determine someones age using their looks, talent, or determination, and in this case I don't really trust their passports. Chinese gymnasts from the 2000 Sydney Olympics have admitted to being underage and participating (with a fake passport) so they don't really have a history of being honest.


axbabe04u wrote:
Avoiding over-analyzing defining how a 16-year-old should look like or act, I watched how this Chinese team handled pressure against USA and how they managed to stay on top with such ease during the pre-eliminary rounds. Whether or not the ages in the passports were fabricated or not, Olympians should be measured by their talents and not by their age. Ultimately, the Chinese women's Olympic gymnastic team accomplished and well-deserved the gold and they did it with passion.

Many also question China's human rights towards the idea of 3-4 year old's elite training that are equivalently taught by the age of 10-12 in the US and other parts of the world. I agree at some level but it definitely paid off this Olympic year!!! Many would also agree that both the men and the women's Chinese gymnastics team should receive the respect and recognition that they deserve without biased or prejudice!



I'm probably going to get flamed for this but oh well. If you break any rule at all in the Olympics, even if the rule should not exist then you do not deserve your medal. Olympic athletes are held to a high standard and should be the paragons of sportsmanship. They are meant to be role modes. That is why their is so much controversy over performance enhancing drugs, it is a breach of sportsmanship. Breaking rules is not something that should be rewarded and this is especially true when you are on an international stage.


axbabe04u wrote:
Many also question China's human rights towards the idea of 3-4 year old's elite training that are equivalently taught by the age of 10-12 in the US and other parts of the world. I agree at some level but it definitely paid off this Olympic year!!! Many would also agree that both the men and the women's Chinese gymnastics team should receive the respect and recognition that they deserve without biased or prejudice!


This is not a situation in which the ends justify the means. Sacrificing the health of children who are too young to make a choice in order to promote a sport is not really a justifiable action. Sure it worked in this Olympics but it isn't really something which we should praise. Isn't this just a way of using people as tools.
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Posted 8/15/08
Frankly speaking, for all the doubters out there, here is a platform for you to air your views constructively.
There is an essay writing competition organized by the Virtual Olympic Congress and you can write based on the following themes:

Theme 1: The Athletes
1.1 Relationship between the athletes, the clubs, federations and the NOCs
1.2 Health protection in training and competition
1.3 The social and professional life of athletes during and after elite competition

Theme 2: Olympic Games
2.1 How to keep the Games as a premier event?
2.2 Olympic values
2.3 Universality and developing countries

Theme 3: The Structure of the Olympic Movement
3.1 The autonomy of the Olympic Movement
3.2 Good governance and ethics
3.3 The relationships between the Olympic Movement and its stakeholders

Theme 4: Olympism and Youth
4.1 Moving towards an active society
4.2 Is competitive sport still appealing?
4.3 Youth sport events

Theme 5: The Digital Revolution
5.1 A new management of sports rights
5.2 How to increase the size of the sports audience
5.3 Communication with stakeholders in the digital age

I would say themes 1 to 4 actually embrace the crux of our debates here. As a supporter of Athletes who are truly deserving, meaning those who have put it in the hours and effort to get to where they are today, I stand by the decision that the Chinese gymnasts have won their medals fair and square, because there is no proof thus far to state that there has been any foul play. Should there be others who agree or otherwise, you can make you voices heard through your writings. There can be more in depth analysis done on the Games, its rules and the Athletes to make future Games even better and if possible, less contentious.

Ah well, I'm done flaring up at these anti-Chinese sentiments floating around the net, so happy writing people!
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