Chinese Gymnast Was Underage At 2000 Sydney Olympics, Officials Rule - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 19 Old 02-27-2010, 12:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/0..._n_479220.html

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia — The international gymnastics officials who cleared China's team of age violations during the Beijing Games now say the country should return an Olympics bronze medal it won 10 years ago because one of its athletes was only 14 at the time.

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#2 of 19 Old 02-27-2010, 08:47 PM
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I dunno, if they were cleared by officials, then they should get to keep the medal. Yes, China was at fault for putting the gymnast in there, but the fact remains that the gymnast competed and placed on their own merit. The fact that the officials missed it shouldn't be held against the athlete. At least, IMO>

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#3 of 19 Old 02-27-2010, 09:22 PM
 
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I agree with Adina.
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#4 of 19 Old 02-27-2010, 09:24 PM
 
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I suspected this the whole time. I think China should be in trouble for this. However, it is not really the gymnast's fault. They knew they cheated when they put their athletes out there, it is not the gymnast's fault.

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#5 of 19 Old 02-27-2010, 11:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdinaL View Post
I dunno, if they were cleared by officials, then they should get to keep the medal. Yes, China was at fault for putting the gymnast in there, but the fact remains that the gymnast competed and placed on their own merit. The fact that the officials missed it shouldn't be held against the athlete. At least, IMO>
I totally disagree.

The officials did not "miss" it. The country and the athletes themselves attempted to hide the fact that they were ineligible. The gave (apparently) false information and documents. If they can go back and strip medals for drug use or other infractions, this should be the same. Only if there are severe consequences (in these situations) can you hope for the rules to be followed.

Personally, I think if they want to discourage underage gymnasts they should change the scoring to give higher scores to older athletes rather than younger (in women's gymnastics the scoring places a high premium on flexability which generally decreases sharply with age).

 

 

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#6 of 19 Old 02-27-2010, 11:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Bunnyflakes View Post
I suspected this the whole time. I think China should be in trouble for this. However, it is not really the gymnast's fault. They knew they cheated when they put their athletes out there, it is not the gymnast's fault.
The gymnast also knew she was cheating. Even if she didn't, she wasn't qualified to compete, so there is no way she should have "won." I, personally, wouldn't demand the medal back and they have already removed the relavent scores from the "books" so there really is nothing else to do realistically, though.

 

 

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#7 of 19 Old 02-27-2010, 11:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by TiredX2 View Post
The gymnast also knew she was cheating. Even if she didn't, she wasn't qualified to compete, so there is no way she should have "won." I, personally, wouldn't demand the medal back and they have already removed the relavent scores from the "books" so there really is nothing else to do realistically, though.
Yes, you are right, she did know. I don't always think that the athletes in China have a lot of control though. Many of them are put in to the schools and separated from their families, etc. So I have no idea whether she would have been able to control whether she competed or not.

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#8 of 19 Old 02-27-2010, 11:56 PM
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Yes, I don't think the that gymnast had much say or choice in the matter. Can't really imagine her saying, "you know, I'm underage, I am not going to compete." Or having any leverage to choose that.

I do understand the idea of severe penalties in order to get people to follow the rules. And in the case of performance enhancing drugs, I agree with that. But there is not way the athlete doesn't know about that, and they do, unless they are being drugged against their will, have a choice. It is also something that directly influences their performance, making it outside of the bounds of what regular humans can do.

I also agree that the scoring should be weighted differently, so as not to reward the younger and younger athletes.

I agree, that if they have stricken he scores from the books, then demanding the medal back is not what is important.

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#9 of 19 Old 02-28-2010, 12:21 AM
 
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I think she should return the medal. Younger gymnasts have an advantage. She was breaking the rules and should give the medal back. They would do it to any other athlete.

It isn't just gymnastics that there is an age limit. A rule is a rule.

Marion Jones was found to have used performance enhancing drugs *after* the Sydney Olympics and had to give her medals back even though they didn't find her to be using drugs during the Olympics. FWIW the *U.S Olympic Committee* forced her to return the medals before the IOC disqualified her.

China shouldn't be rewarded for forcing people to compete underage. If they won't return the medals the IOC should require it.

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#10 of 19 Old 02-28-2010, 12:24 AM
 
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Demanding the medal back might be a strong incentive for other countries not to pull that kind of thing in the future. But it would be so, so difficult to be the gymnast involved!

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#11 of 19 Old 02-28-2010, 12:34 AM
 
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The rule is in place to protect younger athletes. Allowing a country to go outside of that would be contrary to the purpose of the rule.

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#12 of 19 Old 02-28-2010, 12:51 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyflakes View Post
Yes, you are right, she did know. I don't always think that the athletes in China have a lot of control though. Many of them are put in to the schools and separated from their families, etc. So I have no idea whether she would have been able to control whether she competed or not.
I just wanted to say I didn't mean to have the in my original post to you. Sorry.

 

 

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#13 of 19 Old 02-28-2010, 01:18 AM
 
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Okay, okay, I agree with you all!
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#14 of 19 Old 02-28-2010, 01:19 AM
 
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Originally Posted by TiredX2 View Post
I just wanted to say I didn't mean to have the in my original post to you. Sorry.
That is okay

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#15 of 19 Old 02-28-2010, 02:40 AM
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I agree that the Chinese Olympic folks should be punished. I have qualms about punishing the athlete because she truly may not have had any say, or ability to protest what was being done without harm to her entire career (moot now). I get what you are all saying, but I also feel for this girl - especially if she didn't have a choice in the matter. Doesn't make a hill of beans what I think, as I am not the one making the rules.

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#16 of 19 Old 02-28-2010, 10:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I agree, she didn't have a choice in competing. The Chinese Gov forced her.

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#17 of 19 Old 02-28-2010, 11:26 AM
 
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Wait, why are we assuming the Gov. forced her?

I am sure there was a TON of pressure and at the age 14 who would want to let down their friends and family LET ALONE their nation. I believe even that she was lied to by her coaches and sponsors in order to convince her that it was okay, and probably told that this would define her career and make her a hero. I don't understand where the notion is coming from that she MUST have been forced. Manipulated by the grown ups involved, no doubt, but forced? I doubt highly they even needed to make a single threat.

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#18 of 19 Old 03-02-2010, 04:00 AM
 
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I would agree about feeling bad for her but she is still lying, at the bottom of that article it talks about her covering that up.

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"At the time I was only 14," she said. "I thought that if I failed this time, I'll do it again next time. There's still hope."

She later told the AP that she had misspoken and declined further comment. The FIG could find nothing else to confirm that she was 14. Documents given to the IOC, the FIG and the Chinese federation list her birthdate as Dec. 2, 1984.

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#19 of 19 Old 03-02-2010, 02:11 PM
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Yes, she did.

Maybe it is that the system is so flawed that I have an issue with it. I dunno. Something about it sits wrong with me.

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