Gymnastics Investigation

Not sure how many of you have heard, but the IOC is now investigating three of China's female gymnasts because they may be under the age of 16. Now I will admit, that when I saw at least two of the girls compete, they did not have the proper figure or facial features of a 16 year old (asian or otherwise), so I also doubted their age. But to me, to let these girls compete, and then call into question their age is just wrong. To take an Olympic medal away from a 14 year old because of their age and not because of drugs or lack of skill could be utterly devastating. I don't condone cheating by any means, but to me, there were questions raised about at least one of the girls' age long before the Olympics yet there was no investigation done there. To allow the girls to compete, then investigate is almost cruel on the part of the IOC. He Kexin, who is being investigated as the youngest competitor, did an amazing job and in my mind was just as prepared as any 16 year old in the Olympics. I just really don't feel that they should take away her medal now.

Any thoughts?

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35 replies since 22nd August 2008 • Last reply 22nd August 2008

I agree with you Jessica. I don't think they should take He Kexin's medal away because of her age. If they were going to disqualify her, they should have done it before she won anything. It would be cruel to take away something she worked hard for.
The age difference between this girl and the min. requirement isn't that large, and I don't know if it would make a difference if she was 14 or 16. The IOC should be using there energy to deal with more serious issues, like doping and other forms of cheating.
I guess I just don't see this age issue as a big of a deal as their making it. I might not know enough about it to pass an opinion, though.

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Is there meant to be a minimum age limit on all (or any, for that matter) sports in the Olympics, or is it just gymnastics where you have to be over 16?
We've got a male diver competing in synchronised and individual diving events, and he's only 14.

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Apparently the age limit differs between each sport and for gymnastics it's 16 but if they knew that they shouldn't have let her compete in the first place. It seems that whenever an athlete or a group of athetes from the same country do well they start getting scrutinized, Jamaican competitors complained about the amount of random drug tests they were getting. That would be really unfair on He Kexin to take away her medal when she was obviously good enough to compete.

I'm getting a bit worried about how well London olympics are gonna turn out compared to Beijing.

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It's a rubbish situation cause I suppose if they have a rule they have to enforce it; if they let her keep the medal, it'll look like the age limit means nothing. But you're right, they should have done it first, it's totally unfair to take a medal away from this girl who's worked so hard

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it was their mess up

but it is possiblle that these girls may be the right age when you are petiet super small
it is possible for you to have the bone structure of a 14 yr old which is more common in ppl with eating disorders and given the pressure put on these girl and the high intensity workout they get competeing and practicing im not surprised their small
but their could be some other issues needing looked into like maybe an eating disorder its even possible for a woman to stop having her period and everything i hope thats not to grafic but yeah its possible they are the right age

but age is a number if they have the talent and skill required to win the metal then they totally earned it

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I don't think any athletes have eating disorders they have to eat the right amount and right things to be healthy enough to compete if they stopped eating they wouldn't have the strength or energy. The chinese girls looked about 12 though.

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Yeah, they have to eat loads more than average people to compensate for the energy they lose in training.
I was reading in the paper last week about one athlete who for breakfast eats 3 fried egg sandwiches plus cheese, lettuce, tomato and some other stuff, plus loads of slices of toast. I think that would be enough to last me for well over a day! haha

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Ommm I'm hungry now! Apparently in the olympics village there was a lot of hanky panky going on! I can't see them all having sex with each other just like that! They're professionals!!

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hahaha yah I used to eat tons when I was still training. There has been issues in the past with Olympic gymnasts having eating disorders, but that has largely been cracked down on since the 80's. When i looked at two or three of the girls compared to the others on their team, they looked much younger, but at this point, I think and hope its too late for the IOC to do anything, although apparently an investigation can be ongoing for 4 years before anything is done. Look at Marion Jones.

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If it turns out the girls are underage, I think they should have the medals taken away, as the girls KNEW they were underage, the team, coach and country all knew(if it turns out, as there has been signs of a cover up) So as there are age limits set in place, then fair is fair, take away the medals.

If she is that good, she can win the gold again, with pride legally!

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Yeah but they should have done the checks before, that's the problem. You can't really blame the girls, if at fourteen you were given the chance to win a gold medal in the olympics...well I dunno about you, but I'd sure as hell go for it.

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The thing is they did check before, but their documents say they were over 16. So if they are not over 16 then they lied.
If you would go for the chance to win a gold medal, with full knowledge that you are underage you are breaking the rules, regardless of it being a great opportunity. So again I think they deserve it, if it turns out they are underage.

I will just say that I didn't watch any of the olympics, I have only seen a few pics of these girls and they do look very young.
Here is one story:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/cbbcnews/hi/newsid_7570000/newsid_7576600/7576667.stm

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So how will they find out? Presumably their passports and things said sixteen so what? Some kind of medical test?

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I have no idea, really, if it's a cover up from the top, then everything would have been destroyed of their "real" age.
I'm not a conspiracy theorist, I'm just saying, from I have read, there was a site that displayed a story about some of the contestants when they performed in a competition before the Olympics and that site made them out to be 13 or something, but when some journos called the IOC to tell them, of course that page had disappeared by then.

Really at the end of the day, if they lied, that girl will grow up knowing her win is tainted, if not well then, she won a gold medal fair fucking play to her Happy

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