Sunday, August 24, 2008

How old is Chinese gymnast He Kexin?

How Old Is She?, originally uploaded by macx0821.

The New York Times reported last month that online records showing details of Chinese gymnasts and their ages that were posted on official Web sites in China, along with ages given in the official Chinese news media. All records indicated that members of the team might be as young as 14, whereas a gymnast must turn 16 in the year of the Olympics to compete in the Games. Chinese officials replied to the controversy by providing copies of passports indicating that the athletes in question were old enough.

As shown in online sports registration lists in China, over half of the members of the Chinese team, He Kexin, Yang Yilin, Jiang Yuyuan, would be under-age. The screenshots of the records showing the age of the gymnasts are now posted on various sites, as the Chinese deleted the original posts in order to cover up the scandal. The F.I.G., however, has said that those gymnasts were eligible and that the ages on their passports were correct.

The Chinese women won the team gold among six total medals at the Beijing Games. He Kexin, the 14 year old girl won the gold in the uneven bars.

The International Olympic Committee has asked the world governing body for gymnastics to investigate whether members of the Chinese women’s team were qualified to compete in the Olympics in view of their age. The I.O.C. instructed the international gymnastics federation, F.I.G., to take up the issue with the Chinese gymnastics federation and report back to the I.O.C. later Friday last.

“More information has been brought to light and brought to our attention, so we decided to go to the federation and have them look into it further,” said Emmanuelle Moreau, a spokeswoman for the I.O.C. “We had been given some more information and thought that this information was concerning enough to go to the Chinese gymnastic federation and have a thorough discussion about it.” Reliable sources and reports said the under-aged Chinese gymnasts might lose their medals.

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