We may finally have an answer to a question which has been highly debated since the Summer Olympics began: How old are the Chinese gymnasts and are they old enough to compete? Unfortunately for some, this may not be the answer which was hoped for.
Despite persistent questions about the ages of several members of the Chinese women’s gymnastics team that won the gold medal, the International Olympic Committee said Friday there is still no proof anyone cheated and believes the controversy will be “put to rest.”
The IOC asked the International Gymnastics Federation to investigate “what have been a number of questions and apparent discrepancies,” spokeswoman Giselle Davies said. But all of the information the Chinese gymnastics federation has presented so far supports its insistence that its athletes were old enough to compete.
If the federation had found evidence that the gymnasts were underage, it could have affected four of China’s medals. In addition to the team gold and He Kexin’s gold on bars, Yang Yilin won bronze medals in the all-around and uneven bars.
Chinese coach Lu Shanzhen told The Associated Press they gave the FIG new documents on Thursday to try to remove any doubts about He’s age, including an old passport, residency card and her current ID card.
It has been an interesting time at the Olympics for the Chinese gymnastics team. Internet records and media reports suggest three Chinese gymnasts might be as young as 14. A gymnast must be 16 years old in an Olympic year to compete at the games. But questions about the ages of at least three of the athletes have persisted. I cannot say for certain if any of the gymnasts are underage. But after reading the media reports, and seeing the gymnasts on television, I have a hard time believing that a few of them are 16 years of age. Thoughts?