Posted files under ‘he kexin

Chinese Cheaters? Pt. 2

Let me set the record straight. I am a very opinionated person and whether I am sitting in front of a keyboard or discussing an issue with another person, I can get very passionate about my ideals. I am a citizen of the United States where I am entitled to my opinion, as is everyone else, which is why I respect and am open to all feedback whether positive or negative. I just do not tolerate blatant ignorance, especially if you stereotype against a group of people whose culture and traditions are completely different from yours. Unless you truly understand what it is like to live in the other culture, do not generalize them and their culture.

I am not a hippie, nor do I hate the United States, nor am I ashamed of my Chinese heritage. I have very liberal viewpoints because I am from a working-class immigrant family and I was born and raised in San Francisco, arguably the most liberal city in the U.S. I am not anti-corporations because I will be pursuing a career in the corporate world. And to say that I am ashamed of my Chinese heritage is the farthest thing from the truth because I take so much pride in being raised both American and Chinese.

Aren’t the Olympics supposed to be about uniting the world for 2 weeks of friendly competition? I have never seen this much controversy raised during an Olympic games, and most of the issues are blasted against China just because they WERE a Communist nation or maybe merely for the fact that the Chinese culture is just different.

So many issues have arisen from the 2008 games that I feel rather fatigued from listening to the commentators make references to them during the NBC broadcasts every night. It has gotten to the point where I would much rather read the results online before the event is broadcasted in the Pacific Time Zone.

Also, issues that have been circulating on the internet are petty issues and, coming from Americans, hypocritical.

In light of these exciting Games, why are people complaining about “fake” fireworks and a 7-year-old lip-syncing? The United States should be the last country to complain about these things. We are home to “reality shows” that are altered to be more entertaining for the audiences, and well, some of these “reality shows” are not even close to being “real.” The Hills and Keeping Up with the Kardashians are some very “real” shows indeed. But oh dear, “fake” fireworks! Well, that’s just an abomination! And some of the most popular entertainers have been caught lip syncing, i.e. Britney Spears. But if a 7-year-old girl does it, that’s another abomination!

Both the lip-syncer and the actual singer of the opening ceremony have stated that they are honored to take part in the opening ceremony, so why should the rest of the western world be complaining? Because we were deceived into believing it was real? Wake up, America! We are land of the free, plastic surgery, and material wealth.

 Honestly, if the USA gymnastics team won the team gold, there wouldn’t be this much speculation and controversy about the age issue. My previous entry was my retaliation against the ridiculous basis for accusing the Chinese gymnasts of looking too young to compete. I strongly voiced my opinion because I know what it is like to look younger than my real age. It is an unfair accusation, and with no credible proof, it is uncalled for to be making these assumptions and generalizations.

News articles that printed the girls’ ages as 13 or 14 is not exactly the best source of evidence. I have been involved in journalism, and I know for a fact that there can be a lot of misprinting and mistakes, especially if you do not check the facts. If you are going to reference an article, why not also reference the article that quotes He Kexin saying that she does not care what people say about her age because she is 16. If you are going to refer to a mere article for your proof, then it has also been proven many more times that these girls are actually old enough to compete.

It all comes down to differences in Eastern and Western culture. The Chinese government does NOT recruit “slave children” to train into Olympic athletes. Some of the athletes are recruited because their parents were great athletes. Many of these athletes are recruited because they have potential to be great, and they train from a young age because that is how it is in China.

In the United States, we parttake in various extracurriculars as children, and we grow up developing a passion for some of these activities. These are activities on the side of going to school, and for many Olympic athletes, their lives eventually become much more engrossed in their sport, but chances are, their involvement in the sport was derived from an extracurricular.

On the other hand, the Chinese are not like that because it is a difference in culture. The Olympic athletes are trained from a young age, and that is all they do: they train in one activity and go to school on the side. The schools that they attend specialize in that one skill. For example, if your parents determine that you should learn dance, you are sent to a dance school at a young age, and it is at the dance school where you spend most of your time training in your talent, but also receive a compulsory education.

Therefore, to say that the athletes have been “tortured” at a young age is a total misunderstanding. They have been specially trained at a young age, and for a lot of them, it could mean a better way of life for their families in the long run.

Also, the Chinese government is not “evil” and the Chinese people are not being oppressed. Not everyone will be happy with their government, a that includes the people of the United States. I have a lot of family in mainland China. When I first went to China in 1998, I was expecting to see extreme poverty and unhappy, suppressed people, but on the contrary, I saw happy, hospitable people. They’re not restricted from expressing their opinions like you think they are. The government does not control their every action and thoughts. The American standard of living is still higher than the Chinese, which explains the larger wealth gap apparent in China, but all in all, the Chinese people are happy with the direction that their country is heading, and no, the government did not “force” them to say that.

So before anyone else makes anymore generalizations about the Chinese government and people, just remember that your point of view no matter what country you’re from is greatly influenced by your media and politics of your respective countries. Just because a country has a different way of doing things does not make it wrong. We are raised to believe what our culture teaches us, therefore whenever we hear that something is done differently elsewhere, we assume that it is wrong.

Don’t make any assumptions about anything unless you’ve truly seen or experienced it with your own eyes and not through a secondary source like the media.

Keep an open mind. Isn’t the Olympics all about creating worldwide unity? Not controversy.


17 comments August 18, 2008

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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