Wednesday, August 13, 2008

This has been driving me crazy all week

I find it hard to believe nothing can be done about this. I believe the Chinese team earned their gold last night; we sucked, no doubt about it. But if everyone is going to tout the games as evidence that China has changed, the IOC shouldn't turn a blind eye to widespread assumptions that the team flouted age restrictions for its gymnasts.

Amid pre-Olympic hand-wringing over why the birthdates of He Kexin, Jiang Yuyuan and Yang Yilin didn't jibe with other registration materials that showed they might be as young as 14, China swore on its stars' passport stamps that the tots are the legal tumbling age of 16.
But while the tiny trio helped their nation whisk the gold medal away from a suddenly clumsy U.S. group in the team competition, it was impossible to deny the visual evidence of something unjust in China.

You're telling me this kid is 16? I don't even believe she's 12!

What really bothers me is that the IOC isn't saying it's NOT suspicious, it's saying they "don't want to offend the host country." If China wants to be treated like a world power, they need to cut the shady crap, and be held to the same standards as everyone else.

Read a July New York Times investigation that found -- using reporters who can speak and read Chinese, I'm sure -- Chinese provincial records dating from earlier competitions this year which showed two of the gymnasts ages as 14.