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Chinese gymnasts, girls may not be 16

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SampleMM

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Personally, I don't think it should matter what age the gymnasts are. I started gymnastics training when I was 6 years old. By the time I was 16 I was burnt out. An athlete can only peek for so long before their abilities start to decline. I'm 42 now, but back in the day we trained everyday for 4 hours a day. My niece is involved in competitive gymnastics and they train 7 hours a day. Can you imagine? A body can only take so much so I say let them go to the Olympics when they are ready.
 

minimomNC

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Ready or not, the rules do state that a person much be 16 in order to compete in the Olympics, so if they do have competitors under 16 then its cheating. Plan and simple, but from the article it sounds like they have the same problems as our associations about a protest, no one cares who is wrong, they just want to hang the person who asked them to prove they are right.
 

Indian*R*A*I*N*Dance

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They do look younger. Im half and half. If they are 14 then:

(Cons) they don't have more experience then the USA team.

(Pros) There lighter and thire bodys havn't been through as much wear and tear.

I think that they should get proof that they are or arn't 14 yrs. If they are 14 and no one prooves it and they win the gold then they won because they were cheating and thats not something you want to have on your shoulders all your life.
 
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LisaF.

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minimomNC - I never knew we thought so much alike until recently. I agree with what you said - Only you said it much better than I could have.

I also agree if you have to win by cheating - How could that be fun?

Now, here is another thought - don't yell at me - I think the parents and trainers are mostly at fault. I don't know if these girls have the right to say NO. So, I blame the parents and trainers if they are not 16.

If there is a USA or anyone preforming under the age limit - I still feel the same - it is cheating.
 
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LisaF.

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minimomNC - I never knew we thought so much alike until recently. I agree with what you said - Only you said it much better than I could have.

I also agree if you have to win by cheating - How could that be fun?

Now, here is another thought - don't yell at me - I think the parents and trainers are mostly at fault. I don't know if these girls have the right to say NO. So, I blame the parents and trainers if they are not 16.

If there is a USA or anyone preforming under the age limit - I still feel the same - it is cheating.
 
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LisaF.

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minimomNC - I never knew we thought so much alike until recently. I agree with what you said - Only you said it much better than I could have.

I also agree if you have to win by cheating - How could that be fun?

Now, here is another thought - don't yell at me - I think the parents and trainers are mostly at fault. I don't know if these girls have the right to say NO. So, I blame the parents and trainers if they are not 16.

If there is a USA or anyone preforming under the age limit - I still feel the same - it is cheating.
 

minimomNC

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Shawn Machel Johnson (born January 19, 1992) is an American artistic gymnast. She is the 2007 World All-Around Champion and the 2007 and 2008 U.S. All-Around Champion. She is a member of the United States' 2008 Olympic women's gymnastics team.[

From internet search, she is 16.
 

Triple the Fun

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Just thinking, aren't children born in China considered 1 year old when they are born? I could be mistaken, but that might have some role in this controversy, even though the article considers the girls to be a whole 2 years under the age limit.
 

AppyLover2

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My first thought when I heard about the controversy was that it makes Americans look like poor sports. There are those who will say we started this just because we didn't take the gold. JMHO
 

Sonya

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You can still be 15 to compete anyhow, as long as sometime in 2008 you will turn 16...for example...turning 16 on Dec.1, 2008...you can still compete, just have to be 16 within the calender year of 2008.

They do not look 16 to me at all....they even showed an article of one of the chinese gymnasts from last year and in the article it states that she is 12.

If the rule is 16 and they are not 16, then they should be disqualified, plain and simple. Doesn't matter if one feels it's ok to compete at that age, you have to abide by the rules regardless.

There are those who will say we started this just because we didn't take the gold
I do not feel it makes the Americans poor sports by questioning their age....they were questioning the age even before qualification started, way before the chinese team took the gold.
 
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_minihorses4ever_

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It really irks me. Not just because we got silver, but just the ethics and rules of the Olympics. They say you must be 16, therefore, I think it should be that way, no matter what country they are from. Rules are rules!

The things people will do to win..
 

SampleMM

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These girls are not going to look 16. Due to the strenuous hours of weight training, tumbling, ballet, etc, etc. their bodies do not develop. Most will physically develop later and at that point will look their age. From my personal experience, this type of training stops your period from coming (for some, not all) You basically have a later onset of puberty. JMO!
 

Sonya

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These girls are not going to look 16. Due to the strenuous hours of weight training, tumbling, ballet, etc, etc. their bodies do not develop. Most will physically develop later and at that point will look their age. From my personal experience, this type of training stops your period from coming (for some, not all) You basically have a later onset of puberty.
true to a certain extent...but other gymnasts also do strenuous hrs of training, etc and are built much bigger than them. Chinese are built very tiny but they still have the same muscles as anyone else and they do not muscle out in my opinion because of their young age, they haven't fully developed. IMO most looked like they still had their baby teeth...which should definately be gone by 15-16.
 

sdmini

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I watched the Women All Around Finals last night and they most certainly do not look 16. The problem I have is not so much that they are competing "if" they are not 16 but if a country is happy to forge birth certificate papers how much farther are they willing to go for the sake of a medal?

I seen a brief segment on gymnastics in China and was turned off. Children as young as 3-4 went and lived at the "school" where pretty much all they did was practice gymnastics. They didn't see their families but a few times a year. Schooling was not a main focus as these were their "athletes" so image what type of a future these kids have after they can no longer perform or make the cut? Sure a few select individuals will go on to teaching gymnastics but the majority will be chewed up and spit out.

By the way good old USA with it's free speech and democracy went on to claim both Gold and the Silver in the All Around.
 
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mininik

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Free speech, democracy... and plenty of kids who get pushed through school so they can compete as athletes...
 

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