Less than an hour ago, I went into the kitchen at work to heat my lunch and overheard two Chinese folks yapping about this. All I heard was "we're just better, get over it!" Now, the only reason they were using English was because they were talking to two East Indians. I pretended I didn't hear them and went about my business. I'm not all caught up in the Olympics but are they cheating and playing crazy?
Just nine months before the Beijing Olympics, the Chinese government's news agency, Xinhua, reported that gymnast He Kexin was 13, which would have made her ineligible to be on the team that won a gold medal this week.
In its report Nov. 3, Xinhua identified He as one of "10 big new stars" who made a splash at China's Cities Games. It gave her age as 13 and reported that she beat Yang Yilin on the uneven bars at those games. In the final, "this little girl" pulled off a difficult release move on the bars known as the Li Na, named for another Chinese gymnast, Xinhua said in the report, which appeared on one of its Web sites, http://www.hb.xinhuanet.com
The Associated Press found the Xinhua report on the site Thursday morning and saved a copy of the page. Later that afternoon, the Web site was still working but the page was no longer accessible. Sports editors at the state-run news agency would not comment for publication.
If the age reported by Xinhua was correct, that would have meant He was too young to be on the Chinese team that beat the United States on Wednesday and clinched China's first women's team Olympic gold in gymnastics. He is also a favorite for gold in Monday's uneven bars final.
Yang was also on Wednesday's winning team. Questions have also been raised about her age and that of a third team member, Jiang Yuyuan.
Gymnasts have to be 16 during the Olympic year to be eligible for the games. He's birthday is listed as Jan. 1, 1992.
Chinese authorities insist that all three are old enough to compete. He herself told reporters after Wednesday's final that "my real age is 16. I don't pay any attention to what everyone says."
I will be 48 in November and just got carded the other day. I was just scraping 5ft and didn't even weigh 90 lbs when I left for college and when moving into the dorm for the first time, some of my class mates later told me they thought I was someone's little sister. I know people can look young for their age in both in body and face. But China's track record of cutting corners, cheating and stealing to get ahead (aren't Communists the enemy anyhow?) doesn't exactly give me warm fuzzies about this issue. Why should
we believe them?