Wednesday, August 13, 2008
It can't be just me. The bloggers out there have found that the "women" on the Chinese gymnastics team are really no older than about 14. Why do they feel compelled to cheat? They apparently altered passports to show that the girls (because that's what they are) were the minimum age of 16, but others found that, through records of regional competitions, the girls were actually about 14. Bela Karolyi pointed it out. He should know from "massaging the system" because of his work in Romania. I'm not casting stones; just pointing out that sometimes socialist systems have different versions of "acceptable truth" than some other systems. Think about it. Shawn Johnson was so thrilled because she "just" made the minimum age requirement. So what makes the Chinese immune from the rules? Because they're the host country? Or because economically they may own half the world with various countries having received loans from them? Whatever it is, it's not fair. And it's not only not fair to us the viewers, but it's not fair to the Olympians who ARE following the rules - and above all, not fair to the girls themselves. What are they teaching them? That it's ok to not obey the rules - in a country that has, for ages, thrived on obedience and conformity, this is somewhat laughable. Except it's not funny to push young bodies to do the things they're doing. It's not true to the Olympian spirit. And it's just not a good example to set for the team members who are, in all likelihood, just girls.