He, Who is a She, Is Only 13

Far be it from me to know more than the Olympic Committee, but methinks that the whole controversy over the Chinese women’s gymnastics team being at least 16 might have been dead on. That’s because, He Kexin, who the Chinese said was 16 so she was eligible to compete in the games is, according to the Chinese state news service, Xinhua, actually only 13. At least according to an article that they published 9 months ago about 10 rising athlete stars. Now, I am not willing to assume the Chinese government has NOT figured out a way to rapidly age someone 3 years in 9 months, thus making He eligible for the games, that seems EXACTLY like something the Chinese would have mastered and use for evil. So that is one possibility. The other one is that the Chinese lied, the Olympic committee folk know they are lying, everyone else knows they are lying, but because they are the host country no one wants to make a big to-do about it. One seems more likely to me, but then again, I’ve always believed the Chinese can control time…

The other interesting aspect of this story is how the AP found this story on Xinhua on Thursday, and saved the page, but checked back on it later and the story had been scrubbed clean from the Xinhua archives. Zhang Hongliang, an official from the Chinese gymnastics delegation told the AP that the Xinhua story was “”definitely a mistake,” and that as to changing the ages of the girls, “We are a sports department. How would we have the ability to do that?” To which I respond, you have a fascist government who controls every aspect of society, including taking little 3 year old girls and sending them to gymnastic schools where they do very little BUT gymnastics and that getting a falsified passport is not difficult when it is a GOVERNMENT produced document and one that they can be made in about 2 minutes. Particularly when the games are supposed to be China’s big coming out party and they are desperate to win as many gold medals as possible. But hey, what do I know…

I get that the rules state that she needs to be 16, but here’s what I don’t understand, why does it matter? If she was good enough to win gold as a 13 year old, then why can’t she compete? Aren’t the games supposed to be about the best possible competition? If Tom Daley can be 14 and compete in swimming what’s the difference? Is there some larger advantage gained by a 13 year old over a 16 year old? Someone please explain this to me.

8 Responses to “He, Who is a She, Is Only 13”

  1. August 14, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    13 year old’s aren’t dealing with the angst of the teenage years, they’re smaller, skinnier (therefore their center of balance is easier to maintain), and also, they’re communist. you know, the pressure of operating in a hilariously imperfect regime chips away at any angsty 16-year-old’s psyche. believe me. i’ve been there.

  2. 2 RJ
    August 14, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    One is missing a canine tooth or lateral incisor, you can see it when she smiles. Baby canine orlateral incisor teeth usually fall out around the age to 10-13 years old.


  3. 3 Carsen McDonald
    August 15, 2008 at 7:23 pm



  4. August 18, 2008 at 12:09 am

    Just saying that it makes a huge difference doesn’t really mean anything, that sounds more like arbitrary opinion than actual fact. So, why does being younger matter? Does it make them more limber? Easier for them to tumble? Or is it just that gymnast’s bodies break down so easily and so the IOC doesn’t want that to happen to little girls?

  5. 5 shatraw
    August 18, 2008 at 10:05 am

    the nbc commentators were talking about this. it has to, apparently, do with the fact that little girls can bend and flex better than little women or something. seriously.

    anyway, this just about covers it:


    rudimentary research you could have done on your own, slanch!

  6. 6 shatraw
    August 18, 2008 at 10:10 am

    also, the best part about that article linked above is the last point the guy makes… the so-called “hotness factor.”


  7. 7 Jim
    August 18, 2008 at 6:39 pm

    It matters because it is a rule, and if you break the rules, you don’t play. It is that simple.

  8. 8 Mr. Grinch
    August 22, 2008 at 8:42 am

    “If she was good enough to win gold as a 13 year old, then why can’t she compete?”

    Mainly because it is a rule that has been in place for years. A rule that is meant to protect the under-developed muscles and bones of a child from possible career ending damage.

    But then again we all know that these rules are mainly enforced on some countries but not others, is that not correct?

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