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Chinese Cheaters?

Two days ago, sportwriter Dan Wetzel wrote a blog about the speculations of the Chinese women’s gymnastics team being younger than they actually claim. [“Karolyi accuses Chinese of age-old problem” ] In his blog, he reiterates the accusations that Bela Karolyi, a supposedly important person in the U.S. gymnastics world, makes against the Chinese gymnasts, saying that the Chinese are cheating by submitting athletes who are not yet 16 to compete in the Olympics.

What are his arguments? They LOOK too young to compete.

I am completely baffled. “They are using half-people,” he said. “These people think we’re stupid.”

I don’t think it’s only the Chinese who think you and your wife are stupid, but everyone else who slightly cares for this issue. What the heck is a half-person? Is he claiming that children in their pre-teens are only half of a person, therefore can receive only half of the rights entitled to “full-humans”? Or is he playing at the stereotype that Asians tend to be shorter than other ethnicites? In that case, I’m a half-person too seeing that I’m only 5’4″ yet I used to play forward in basketball against 6′ plus girls.

And has Bela Karolyi never seen Chinese or other Asian people in his life? In case he hasn’t noticed, most of them look young for their age! When I was 12, people thought I was 15. Now I’m 21 pushing 22, and people still think I’m in high school. The fact that these girls look younger than they really are is a matter of genetics, diet, and in this instance their rigorous gymnastics training. Asians tend to age slower than other ethnicities, and their diets are composed of fresher foods that contain no preservatives and much smaller portions than what the United States is accustomed. Also, I have read that intense gymnastics training not only stunts your growth, but could also postpone puberty. I’m not trying to be a pervert here, but if you look at pictures of the Chinese gymnasts, you can see that they have boobs. What 12-13 year old gymnasts do you knowhave fully developed boobs? They may be small, but for crying out loud, they’re Chinese! Our women are known for being flat.

I see his and his wife’s petty arguments against the Chinese team as a way of blaming the U.S. team’s poor performance on someone else other than their own athletes. His wife Marta calls the Chinese team a bunch of “babies” [Karolyis’ sour grapes make bad whine] but it is the Karolyis who are the babies in this case.

If they are going to blame the Chinese team and the government for forging documents to prove these girls’ ages by looks alone, then why not blame the Japanese as well? Their team’s average height is 4’10” which is only one inch taller than the Chinese average of 4’9″. Of course they won’t blame the Japanese. They were not a threat to the U.S. team, so instead of trying to bring the Chinese team down through skills alone, I guess the Karolyis figure they could win the gold through the blame game. I should join in on the blame game fun so let me make the claim that Shawn Johnson is not 16-years-old as it states on her profile, but only 12. The U.S. government must have forged her passport to say that she’s 16 in order for her to be eligible to compete in the Olympics. I mean, she LOOKS too young and short to be 16. [insert eye-roll here]

The U.S. team won the silver because they committed bigger mistakes than the Chinese, and the U.S. athletes have accepted the silver with grace. However, Marta stated that the judges affected Alicia Sacramone’s balance beam performance on the 15-minute delay before her routine. What kind of athlete would you be to blame your performance on something petty like a time delay? Doesn’t being an athlete mean that you have to train your psyche to handle any unexpected circumstances while under pressures of competition? Michael Phelps was able to medal AND break a world record by swimming with waterlogged goggles, so why couldn’t Sacramone deal with the 15-minute time delay?

The Karolyis need to shut it. No matter how much they gripe to the press, they have no way of proving that the Chinese have falsified the girls’ ages. They just need to accept the fact that the Chinese defeated the U.S. team because the Chinese were able to overcome nerves and execute better than the U.S.

My message to the Karolyis: Sorry if the Chinese gymnasts are not as tall as the American athletes. Sorry if the Chinese don’t have crows feet and graying hairs by the time they’re in their 20’s like Americans do. And sorry that the Olympics and the rest of the world can not accomodate to your every desire.


39 comments August 13, 2008

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