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Davian93
08-13-2008, 02:34 PM
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/olympics/2008/writers/selena_roberts/08/13/china.gymnasts/index.html?bcnn=yes

How much of this is legit and how much is just sour grapes?

Gilshalos Sedai
08-13-2008, 02:47 PM
Well, given how many Olympics Bela Karolyi's been around... I think he can tell the difference between a 14 year old and a 16 year old.


However, papers is papers and if your government says you're two years older than you are, hard to prove otherwise.

Davian93
08-13-2008, 02:51 PM
Well, given how many Olympics Bela Karolyi's been around... I think he can tell the difference between a 14 year old and a 16 year old.


However, papers is papers and if your government says you're two years older than you are, hard to prove otherwise.

We could just ask Miguel Tejada or Alphonzo Soriano what they think...they'd probalby be pretty good judges on this type of thing.

Cary Sedai
08-13-2008, 03:00 PM
When I saw Deng Linlin the first time, I said "She looks 9". Zan laughed at me, and when I saw He Kexin, I said "She looks about 12"

Then I thought about it for a little while, and decided with racial differences and having no frame of reference for Chinese teenagers, I would concede they might be 14.

I have no idea if they are 16 or not, and I don't think we'll ever really know. They are damn good, though.

Gilshalos Sedai
08-13-2008, 03:02 PM
Racial differences aside, it's a rare 16 year old still loosing baby teeth.

Brita
08-13-2008, 03:07 PM
Racial differences aside, it's a rare 16 year old still loosing baby teeth.

Yes, yes it is....

Unfortunately, if the issue was raised pre-competition and put to rest- the US coaches end up looking like sore losers if they bring it up again. The question probably would have been raised anyway- and the US Team could have looked incredibly gracious by refusing to speculate- while speculation would have still run rampant, guaranteed.

DeiwosTheSkyGod
08-13-2008, 03:07 PM
I don't believe they're 16, but then again, I actually was losing baby teeth at 16, and I looked my age. So who knows.

Anyone know why that rule is in place at all? There are 15-year olds in other competitions.

Cary Sedai
08-13-2008, 03:09 PM
Racial differences aside, it's a rare 16 year old still loosing baby teeth.

I didn't see anything for myself about baby teeth, and it's easy enough to get a tooth knocked out. And even if they are 14 or 12... they'd be done loosing baby teeth. I won't rely on that as an idicator, 'specially since the Karolyi's both spouted it.

I am relying on my eyeballs, I can't say I believe they are 16. 14, maybe...but who knows?

Gilshalos Sedai
08-13-2008, 03:13 PM
DC, I said it was a RARE 16 year old. Guess you qualify. ;)

DeiwosTheSkyGod
08-13-2008, 03:30 PM
I just don't understand that rule at all. Is it imposed on every team, or just China's? To me, if you're good enough to qualify the Olympics, then you should be able to go, whether you're ten or fifty.

The suggestions that China might be gene-doping should be taken much more seriously than this, I think.

Gilshalos Sedai
08-13-2008, 03:36 PM
Why? The East German women's team was constantly accused of steroid use in the 70s and 80s and no one ever caught them. Hell, the women had mustaches! Yeah, women can have them, but not an entire team!

Birgitte
08-13-2008, 03:50 PM
Maybe they're related to my step-dad.... All his sisters have mustaches.

Gilshalos Sedai
08-13-2008, 03:54 PM
Are they the East German Track and Field team?

Ishara
08-13-2008, 03:59 PM
We have to remember that gymnastics more than any sport out there stunts a girls natural growth and their hard training can actually play a strong rle in the delay of puberty. Just look at Nastia Liukin! She looks about 14 and she's definitely not. Besides that racial differences account for quite a bit when it comes to "looking" your age.

Ali Lohan looks like she's 40, but she's still only 14. Goes both ways! ;)

DeiwosTheSkyGod
08-13-2008, 04:09 PM
Why? The East German women's team was constantly accused of steroid use in the 70s and 80s and no one ever caught them. Hell, the women had mustaches! Yeah, women can have them, but not an entire team!

Well, exactly. We're cracking down on drug use, so they might be looking for a new, undetectable way to get a step-up on the competition. (And didn't most East German athletes admit that the government had a doping regime in place?)

Ishara makes a good point, though. I googled "sixteen year old chinese girl" and this picture (http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/english/doc/2005-08/31/xin_020802311521143242744.jpg) and this one (http://shanghaiist.com/attachments/shang_maureen/1141f85060d.jpg) (heh) came up. Neither of them looks sixteen to me, and if a girl's growth is stunted, she would look even younger.

Sinistrum
08-13-2008, 04:10 PM
It wouldn't surprise me if the Chinese messed around with the age documentation. Just another way for them to fix these Olympics.

Ivhon
08-13-2008, 04:26 PM
It wouldn't surprise me if the Chinese messed around with the age documentation. Just another way for them to fix these Olympics.

I wouldnt be the least bit surprised either.

But then Im jaded and cynical enough to think that well over half of the medalists are using steroids - whether they get caught or not. So, if the athletes are cheating, why can't the government? Can't beat em, join em, I guess.

Sadly, we live in a culture where the rewards for cheating (everything) FAR outweigh the penalties for being caught (next to nothing).

Sei'taer
08-13-2008, 04:28 PM
I wouldnt be the least bit surprised either.

But then Im jaded and cynical enough to think that well over half of the medalists are using steroids - whether they get caught or not. So, if the athletes are cheating, why can't the government? Can't beat em, join em, I guess.

Sadly, we live in a culture where the rewards for cheating (everything) FAR outweigh the penalties for being caught (next to nothing).


Did any of you see what Phelps eats every day? In ten years he'll be the picture of US gluttony. Actually, he may be that already...lol...but at least he's winning.

irerancincpkc
08-13-2008, 04:34 PM
^^^ Phelps does eat like a madman.

The Chinese girls looked younger than 16 to me, but I really don't think it is that big of a deal...

Cary Sedai
08-13-2008, 04:35 PM
I wouldnt be the least bit surprised either.

But then Im jaded and cynical enough to think that well over half of the medalists are using steroids - whether they get caught or not. So, if the athletes are cheating, why can't the government? Can't beat em, join em, I guess.

Sadly, we live in a culture where the rewards for cheating (everything) FAR outweigh the penalties for being caught (next to nothing).


Wow, you are jaded and cynical! ;)

tanaww
08-13-2008, 05:27 PM
The Chinese gymnasts all looked pretty young. A couple of them I was thinking 12. The one that is supposedly 20, I'd concede 16 maybe. I don't know how I feel about the "Must be 16 in the calendar year of the Olympics" rule since it applies only to gymnastics as far as I can tell. Wasn't one of the divers (maybe 2?) only 14?

And B! How you talk about your aunts! LMAO

Zaela Sedai
08-13-2008, 06:34 PM
I don't believe that all the kids were 16...and how convenient that the 20 year old was on the team last Olympics at 16...they must only pick their girls every 4 years... ;)

But this was all brought up a long time ago, not after we won the silver.

The problem with it is that everyone should have to follow the rules.

I beleive 14 is the limit for the olympics it is just that 16 is the limit for Gymnastics, the same goes for World Championships and such I believe. I think that the idea is they don't want kids training THAT hard at 10-11-12 years old. American kids don't start intense training in Gymnastics until age 10, until they can start handling it mentally and physically. China starts at age 3...

Bela is fun to watch, he also brought up the Eastern Bloc doing the same thing back in the day.

Weird Harold
08-13-2008, 06:52 PM
The Chinese gymnasts all looked pretty young. A couple of them I was thinking 12. The one that is supposedly 20, I'd concede 16 maybe. I don't know how I feel about the "Must be 16 in the calendar year of the Olympics" rule since it applies only to gymnastics as far as I can tell. Wasn't one of the divers (maybe 2?) only 14?

And B! How you talk about your aunts! LMAO
It's "mUst be sixteen in the claendar year of the competition and it's an International Gymnastics Federation rule and it's been in place for a couple of Olympics in response to the long-term health problems connected to putting children into international level women's sports.

A couple of points:

The Chinese gymnasts look very young when compared to the cloned usherettes carrying the team placards from station to station and other "window dressing" jobs. For those not used to judging oriental ages the usherettes are what we expect 16-year-olds to look like. As compare to the "perfect image" of Chinese women we're provided by the non-athletes surrounding the venues, we have askewed idea of what "16" looks like.

The body type best suited to international-level women's gymnastics is essentially "barely pubescent" because the balance and center of gravity change with puberty. Young women who go through puberty late or don't exhibit the gross physical changes of puberty have a mechanical advantage over post-pubescent competitors -- the same skills can be performed, but it takes more strength and better balance to perform them. No matter their actual age, female gymnasts alway LOOK younger than they actually are simply because that's the body type that works best for the sport.


Finally, for some reason, it seems to me that oriental women don't mature/age in a smooth curve as most Europeans do; They seem to appear the same age for about a decade at a time and then catch up to the calendar overnight.

I wouldn't surprise me if there was something underhanded, like a typo on their passports to add a year, or drugs to inhibit puberty -- but it could be that with a billion or so to choose from they just collected the bottom edge of the physical development bell curve for 15 1/2 to 16 y-o girls.

Davian93
08-13-2008, 06:56 PM
Well, exactly. We're cracking down on drug use, so they might be looking for a new, undetectable way to get a step-up on the competition. (And didn't most East German athletes admit that the government had a doping regime in place?)

Ishara makes a good point, though. I googled "sixteen year old chinese girl" and this picture (http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/english/doc/2005-08/31/xin_020802311521143242744.jpg) and this one (http://shanghaiist.com/attachments/shang_maureen/1141f85060d.jpg) (heh) came up. Neither of them looks sixteen to me, and if a girl's growth is stunted, she would look even younger.

LOL...you might want to be careful googling that...I definitely wouldn't do that from work.

Brita
08-13-2008, 07:09 PM
You have to be careful googling almost anything- you should have seen what came up when I googled images for Burka :eek:

GonzoTheGreat
08-14-2008, 04:30 AM
I just don't understand that rule at all. Is it imposed on every team, or just China's? To me, if you're good enough to qualify the Olympics, then you should be able to go, whether you're ten or fifty.
From what I've read, the rule was made after the Americans won the eight with rowing event. This was early in the 20th century, and at that time, no one paid attention to things like keeping weight at a minimum, yet. The Americans found that their steersman/shouter/whatever it's called was unavailable too late to order a replacement from the States. So they plucked a French 10 year old off the streets, and taught him to shout "left, right, left, right", or whatever he was supposed to say. Then they won the rowing with a huge difference, because they had a hundred pounds or more less weight to push through the water. That boy was the youngest winner of Olympic gold ever, and after that age limits were set.

Later on, the idea of preventing child abuse caught on, and that too became a reason for having a firm "no children" rule.

Mort
08-14-2008, 06:50 AM
I wouldn't be so quick to judge who is and who isn't 16 since chinese (practically all asians really) usually have features making them look younger than they might be. Maybe (probably) other chinese are better at spotting this stuff.

We do have the same problem here though, there are lots of people in the west not looking their age.

Somehow it feels like it's just a big blaming game, where the goal is to find flaws in the chinese olympic teams.

Call me non-cynical if you will :) Or a communist SOB (not shortness of breath brita!) if that makes you feel better :)

....
No, I am not communist, no need to find a pitchfork!

Ishara
08-14-2008, 07:43 AM
but at least he's winning You hit the nail right on the head.

Gilshalos Sedai
08-14-2008, 08:04 AM
I'm hardly the best person to bitch about people not looking their age, after all, in Vegas, it was kind of a toss up between Isabel and I who got carded first. Then there's the Rated R movie I got carded for at the age of 24.


But I've always produced my ID, sometimes to Bryan and Sinistrum's great amusement, without (too much) bitching. If you've got to prove you're old enough, prove it.

Davian93
08-14-2008, 11:13 AM
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/olympics/2008/08/14/underage.gymnasts/index.html?cnn=yes

So China was saying she was well underage too...but that bit has been newspeaked into correctness.

Zaela Sedai
08-14-2008, 05:11 PM
The documents not matching came out in the Post over a month ago....so don't think this is coming about because the americans won the silver. Even Johson's Chinese coach won't comment on it.

Cary Sedai
08-14-2008, 05:26 PM
The documents not matching came out in the Post over a month ago....so don't think this is coming about because the americans won the silver. Even Johson's Chinese coach won't comment on it.

My thought on this is: Since it came out a month ago, and all the athletes still competed, they weren't worried about it being a factor. Now that China won the gold, it's being talked about again. If China hadn't won the gold, would it be a big deal, still?

Zaela Sedai
08-14-2008, 06:33 PM
It was talked about throughout Cary, before during and after the competition. Talked about A LOT. The reason nothing was done is that the IOC can't and won't insult the Host country by trying to look into it. But really how can they? The girls have government issued passports, and well governments don't lie to get ahead. Especially COmmunist governments.


Ummmmm...yeah

Also today it picked up steam cause more document were post on goverment site showing one of the girls ages as 13 then quickly removed from the site.

Cary Sedai
08-14-2008, 07:34 PM
Okay, talked about throughout... IOC didn't want to upset the host country...

None the less, the athletes still competed, knowing this and suspecting thier ages were not 16 in the olympic year. My question still stands, how much would this matter if China hadn't won the gold?

I'm not really trying to take sides, btw. Some of those girls definetly didn't look 16, and the whole website thing you mentioned. I just don't think it should be used as an excuse for USA winning silver instead of gold. I watched the team finals and those girls were amazing, so were the Americans, but they did make mistakes.

I would just personally feel bummed that if instead of accepting and being proud that they won silver, they see it as a loss, and blame it on the age of some of the Chinese girls.

Ozymandias
08-14-2008, 09:52 PM
Okay, talked about throughout... IOC didn't want to upset the host country...

None the less, the athletes still competed, knowing this and suspecting thier ages were not 16 in the olympic year. My question still stands, how much would this matter if China hadn't won the gold?

I'm not really trying to take sides, btw. Some of those girls definetly didn't look 16, and the whole website thing you mentioned. I just don't think it should be used as an excuse for USA winning silver instead of gold. I watched the team finals and those girls were amazing, so were the Americans, but they did make mistakes.

I would just personally feel bummed that if instead of accepting and being proud that they won silver, they see it as a loss, and blame it on the age of some of the Chinese girls.

I think an important question is this: if it had been an American or other Western team with this controversy, wouldn't it be a much bigger deal? You know the Chinese wouldn't let it rest. I just think its a huge double standard. If the US came out with an underage team, they've probably have the entire delegation disqualified from the Games. When the Chinese do it, every says "tut tut" and looks the other way so as not to seem to be biased for the West.

Sodas
08-15-2008, 01:59 AM
She was 14, not 16. I honestly think the medal should be stripped from China.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-flumenbaum/scandal-of-the-ages-docum_b_118842.html

Davian93
08-15-2008, 06:37 AM
This is what happens when you have 1.3 billion potential customers and the Olympics is pretty much all about money and advertising anyway...

Sinistrum
08-15-2008, 10:27 AM
I honestly think the medal should be stripped from China.

I'd agree with this if there weren't so many other things that were full of shit going on with these games. But given everything else, I think it really is just par for the course and stripping the medals would just be a pathetic attempt to add an bit of legitimacy to an otherwise illegitimate competition.

tanaww
08-15-2008, 11:34 AM
Did you know that when children are adopted internationally their birthdays can be changed? It is simple, legal and nearly untraceable. Some parents do it to make kids younger so they're not self conscious about being behind in school but they could just as easily make them older.

No, in case you're wondering. We didn't. We barely changed names - dropping the patronymic and giving them our last name along with their Russian one so the Khan and the Senator have their given Russian first and last names (as their middle name) and our last names.

Zaela Sedai
08-15-2008, 02:06 PM
I guess the point I'm trying to make Cary, is that because it has been talked about throughout I don't really want anyone think that we're complaining about the silver. Because, honestly if you watch and stuff, that never comes up. You know what I mean? So often things are brought up after the fact, and everyone says, "you wouldn't care if you had won"

Thats clearly not the case here. Thats all :)

Cary Sedai
08-15-2008, 03:00 PM
It ate my post, I thought it was really good. I hate that!

Anyhow, I don't see it as that clear. First I heard about the ages was during the team trials, then I heard more about it during the team finals. Also during the team finals Bela was rather, upset about it, nearly bitter. His and his wife's viewpoint on the matter can easily influence how the USA Team feels about winning silver.

To me, the fact that thier ages were suspect to begins with and everyone competed anyhow, things should stay as they stand. With the media still buzzing about this, I worry that winning the silver could turn to bitterness, instead of being accepted in the good grace it has been so far.

I dont' think the Chinese girls in question were old enough, by Olympic rules, they should be stripped of the gold. I don't want them stripped of the gold, though. I think they were amazing.

Zaela Sedai
08-15-2008, 05:37 PM
I'm not one who thinks they should be stripped of it either. It's not their fault. Its not like they actually have a choice in the matter, lol. There have been Chinese who came forward in the past and they werent strippped of their medals like a steroid user would be.

China on the other hand could use a punishment if it were ever proven. And to be frank I think the truth would be so embarrassing for them that it would be punishment enough.