Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Shenanigans @ The Olympics?

China never should have been awarded the Olympic Games in the first place, and we had our suspicions. It seems that we are not the only ones questioning the Chinese. In addition to the New York Times, the LA Times adds some snark to this controversy. From the LA Times:

They looked like kids playing dress-up, their eyes accentuated with pastel eyeshadow and glitter, their hair pulled back with colorful barrettes in the shape of ovals and stars. The blush on their cheeks was applied too generously, producing an effect that was garish instead of girlish.

If the aim of the resident makeup artist was to make the members of the Chinese women's gymnastics team appear sophisticated, it backfired. Badly.

They looked young. Very young.But oh, can they twist and tumble and fly from top to bottom on the uneven bars like the lightest of feathers.It's difficult to write about female athletes who compete in sports that put a premium on small, compact bodies. Calling them tiny seems disrespectful and sexist. They're athletes who happen to be small, no less skilled than a basketball player or swimmer.

These Chinese gymnasts are tiny.Pre-teen tiny. Haven't-lost-all-their-baby-teeth-tiny.

From the NY Times:

One day after its men’s team won gold, China’s women matched the feat. While they celebrated, Martha Karolyi, the United States national team coordinator, continued to question the ages of some of China’s gymnasts. Concerns over eligibility on the six-member team surfaced before the Olympics and have continued all week.

“One of the girls has a missing tooth,” Karolyi said, suggesting that the gymnast was so young that she lost a baby tooth and had yet to have a permanent one emerge.

The grin of Deng Linlin, a Chinese gymnast who is listed as 16, indeed revealed a wide gap. To be eligible for the Olympics, gymnasts must turn 16 this year.

“I have no proof, so I can’t make an affirmation,” Karolyi said. “But it possibly could be true. That doesn’t give an even playing field. Certain countries go by the rules, and certain countries may not.” ...

Because China and the United States competed on the same events each rotation, it was easier to notice differences in their body types. The Chinese gymnasts lack curves, have an average height of 4 feet 9 inches and weigh an average of 77 pounds. Deng is the smallest, at 4-6 and 68 pounds. The women on the United States team, generally more muscular and shapely than the Chinese, are an average of 3 ½ inches taller and 30 pounds heavier.

Sacramone, who is 20 and the oldest of all the female Chinese and American gymnasts competing, said she thought her competitors for China did not look 16.

“No, they looked pretty young,” said Sacramone, who is listed at 5-1 and 117 pounds. “But I’m not one to judge. I don’t look 20.” ...

According to some official records, He — China’s uneven bars specialist — was listed as 14 this year. Now, however, she is listed as 16. At the postevent news conference, a reporter asked her how she had celebrated her 15th birthday. After a long pause, He answered that it had been “an ordinary day” spent with teammates.

Oops. Did the mask just slip? Who knows, but we do know this: We watched Michael Phelps swim into history last night (he now holds the record for most golds captured by an America surpassing Mark Spitz, Carl Lewis, and Jenny Thompson), and they kept cutting from him to the gymnastics. We saw these gymnasts and there was no question in our minds that these girls were young. They looked too young.

I used to compete in swimming, so I know what a swimmer's body is going to look like as they grew up, and stay in top physical shape. Gymnasts are not that far off in that respect. Some things just cannot be avoided. Compare the Chinese athletes to the three US gymnasts that competed in the competition last night.

Shawn Johnson is 16; Nastia Liukin is 19; Alicia Sacramone is 20. They all look their age. Body size, weight, physical features, etc. They all look the right age. The Chinese women did not. They looked way too young to meet the requirements. Anyone who thinks that the Chinese would not doctor a passport to ensure younger, lighter girls to compete is a fool. We would not put it past them.

Remember that the Chinese have been doing their best to use the Olympics as a propaganda piece. The opening ceremonies fell under scrutiny when the fireworks display was questioned. Throw this controversy and you can see why we say this entire Olympics is nothing but one long propaganda reel similar to that of Nazi Germany's 1936 Olympics. And then there is this (courtesy of Allah @ Hot Air) where some athletes are claiming some of the Chinese judges are helping their athletes cheat.

The Chinese cannot be trusted at all. they are trying to make the world believe a lie; that they are not the two-faced Communist nation that we know they are. These Olympic games are a farce. China will not gain anything substantive from these games, and the IOC has a black eye they will not soon live down. We can celebrate the US teams, and individual athletes like Michael Phelps. We should because they are just doing what they are supposed to do. Politics do not enter into their minds.

But we can see why some people were right to boycott these games and the sponsors. Too bad not enough people did participate to make a dent or send a message that these games are not only a disgrace because of the host country, but also that these games are nothing more than a prop in an attempt to make the world believe that China is now somehow different. They are not. These controversies will not go away no matter how loud the Chinese scream. Suspicions are funny things, and in topics like this, they tend to have a great deal of merit.



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