POLL: Chinese Women’s Olympic Gymnastics Team, Are They Way Under Age?

When watching the Chinese women’s gymnastic team perform, one is immediately stricken by the apparent illegal age of the performers. There are clear age requirements for the Olympics, but why is it that only the Chinese team seems to be an average age of 12?

Deng Linlin of China is alleged by the Chinese team to be 16 years of age.  We are not sure, but we think they are defining a year as the length of time it takes Venus to orbit the Sun, not Earth.  This girl looks 12 at the very most.  She has no physical signs of female development, zero body fat and looks like, if 16, she would be being treated as an anorexic.

Deng looks to be, at most, 60 pounds, and has about a 4′ frame.  She couldn’t get on the E-Rides at Disneyworld! And she would definitely qualify for the discount children’s ticket without any questions from the park’s operators!

There are clear advantages to playing this card for a women’s gymnastics team. Weight is more evenly distributed in the young.  In addition, the younger a girl starts in the Olympics, the more experience she can garner for future competitions.  Basic physics also tells you, the smaller the frame, the less room it takes to execute a move. A 4 footer can somersault in significantly less distance than someone 5 feet, vastly reducing the probability of stepping out of bounds during floor exercises, a common problem in gymnastics for girls of legitimate age and stature.

Most of all, sneaking in underage girls opens up the field for a broader array of talent, providing the teams that cheat a significant advantage.  There are many candidates that were excluded by legitimate teams in the competition, sometimes just months shy of the qualification age.

The New York Times has already reported that online records have two members of the Chinese women’s team, He Kexin and Jiang Yuyuan, at age 14, in violation of the Olympic minimum age requirement of 16. Yang Yilin was indicated as being 14 on a state-run television website at about the same time.

14 seems generous. Apparently, someone confirmed the ages of these girls, but common sense says they are most likely lying.

International Olympic Committee  president Jacques Rogge deferred responsibility for enforcing the age limit to China’s gymnastics federation, but isn’t that like letting the fox watch the hen house?

Bela Karolyi, the former coach of Olympic gold  medalists Nadia Comaneci and Mary Lou Retton said “Shame on the IOC if they don’t do anything about it.”

Karolyi’s solution? “The only way to stop this is to take off the age limit. Take it away. We would have some amazing young athletes on our team, too, but they missed it by a few months. To force honest countries to hold back and allow other countries, not so honest, to push them forward, it’s not fair.”

“No so honest” was kind.

We have a related follow up story on this one over at: Communism Does Not Upset us, Chinese Cheats Do! How NASDAQ Assists China As They Cheat the US in Olympics and In Business

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27 thoughts on “POLL: Chinese Women’s Olympic Gymnastics Team, Are They Way Under Age?”

  1. Hi lili…

    Good to have you on board. Welcome.

    It is all about the criminal activities of the Chinese Government and Chinese Businesses. The Olympics are only the tip of the iceberg.

    Some of our other articles get into this. Free Trade with China, in our humble opinion, has made China rich at America’s expense.

    And as long as criminal activities are evident and damaging to the US, we should take actions to protect ourselves from those activities.

    But we digress a bit. Solving one problem at a time, China proved in its own Olympics, that something as simple as obeying the rules was impossible for them. They instead resorted to forgery and other criminal acts. They abused children to lie about their age. And they attempted to cover up their crimes.

    Usually, as we have said before, one cockroach scurries out of the cabinet, you can bet there are thousands in the crevices. We believe China (the government) is cheating the entire world any way they can.

  2. The N. Korean girls suffer too, but N. Korea is unable to cheat because they were already punished for underage cheating by the FIG. Then Kim Gwan Suk one of the best bar workers ever seemed to disappear from the face of the earth. Why is swift and harsh punishment handed out to N. Korea and not China? Because China is a rich country and #1 in foreign reserves with plenty of bribe money and kickbacks for the IOC and FIG, while N. Korea had people literally dying of famine?

    “Why do so many ppl here have such negative view against the Chinese government? Does it hurt to watch a country rise so fast?” Yes, it’s “great” to see China become so rich so fast based on the simple formula of utilizing slave labor to undersell the countries that had much higher quality manufacturing (Japan, S. Korea, Taiwan, US, Germany etc). It’s “impressive” how they can control 1.3 billion people with domestic spying, secret police, torture and labor camps. Don’t worry about due process because they arrest and torture the lawyers too. Lovely. The Nazis saved Germany from a hyperinflationary depression, I guess we should admire them too.

  3. We would like to add that we humbly disagree with the people in our polls. We feel that the team members of the Chinese Women’s Gymnastics team are victims of a totalitarian government that has placed pressure on them to lie and win at all costs.

    We feel that the media and the world will know the truth within months and China will be disgraced. But these girls deserve our respect for surviving in an environment where a government rules by intimidation and lies.

    Our hearts go out to them, and we wish them our best and hope they are back again to show us their best in the next Olympics. We hope China does not get excluded for their illegal acts, because these girls deserved better.

  4. I bumped into this link via search engine and found it really intriguing. I just wanted to say that in a HUGE population of 13 billion people (about there?) it’s really really sad that China can’t even come up with a legitimate team that can ensure the gold for them. By putting these really young girls on the team just makes them look weak.

    And this Olympics event was a great chance for the Chinese people to show off their stuff, but if the entire competition is marred by controversy and scandal, what’s the point? If you can’t win legally, then you might as well not win at all because…well, maybe it’s just me, but don’t the govt officials find the repeating underage accusations annoying? And maybe because some people value morals and respect rules. The rules aren’t there to sabotage anyone. Everyone’s on an even playing field.

    Lastly, I know a lot of people that say that Chinese people look young. And they do, that I’ll admit. But there’s a limit, and it’s really rare that such a great number of people think so. There’s my two cents.

  5. Hi Linda…

    There will always be those that disagree in a free nation.

    To be honest, most of your questions were already answered in this and other articles on the site, and others appeared to be rhetorical.

    Like “..why can’t we just be happy for them”? Maybe we should be happy for the girls 15 years and 10 months that were excluded from the Olympics while 12-14 year olds from China were allowed in. Those girls may never get to complete in the Olympics because by the time they do qualify, they will be nearly 20.

    “What is the Point of Commenting on This?” Uh, because we find cheating abhorrent and think the issue important. If you don’t why are you here?

    “Whoever wrote this article has a totally negative view against China.” Not a question, but we will comment. That is nonsense. This had nothing specifically to do with China.

    “What will be the result?” Hopefully others that concur with us like Olympic Coach Bela Karolyi will pressure the IOC to drop the rule so all teams have a level playing field. That is what we consider the best solution. Welcome all the Chinese, but welcome all the Russians, Americans, Japanese, etc. as well.

    This is not a hate article at all and it is not an article specifically about China. If the USA sent in a number of girls that were of questionable age, we would have written about that as well. But it was China that chose to cheat. This is an article about fairness in the Olympics, the rules, and equal enforcement of those rules.

    You do not tell one athlete that they can take a banned substance and another that they cannot. Why? It wouldn’t be fair. This is absolutely no different.

  6. Thanks realitytv. Sorry I did not appreciate this article. I think enough discussion on this and I am disappointed that you did not comment on most of my questions above but only focus on UNDER AGE, UNDER AGE,CHINESE WEBSITE SAID, AGAIN UNDER AGE, CHEATED, UNDER AGE…… 🙂

    Congratulations to Liukin and Shawn!!! I respect whoever put on good show for the Olympics and I am happy for them regardless of nationality and race.

  7. Hello Again Linda. Thank you for responding. We love it when people “kick things up”.

    In actuality, there are no 16 year old Chinese women that look 11. Looking younger is a life long advantage of Asian women. It is not something that delays puberty for 5 years.

    Again, please read the article. We are only reporting the facts already discovered by the New York Times and endorsed by Olympics coaches.

    Last night, China admitted their own web site had one of their gymnasts listed at age 13. They quickly deleted her records and claimed it must be a mistake. So, they expect us to believe that of the hundreds of millions of women’s ages they list, the one mistake was on a compeititor in the Olympics that had to be 16 to compete? Please. Coincidence like that doesn’t just defy statistics, it defies logic.

    Look at Deng Linlin’s pictures again. These are from THESE olympics. There is no 16 year old in the world that looks like that. Chinese, Dutch, Japanese, French or Russian. China cheated.

  8. Thanks realitytv, I watched the competition and I believe they are not under age. Again, Asian looks younger and you can’t judge gymnast’s age by their body.
    Dont complain and try to find excuse when the older ones got beat by the younger ones. We are all older, why can’t we just be happy for them?? Why do so many ppl here have such negative view against the Chinese government? Does it hurt to watch a country rise so fast? What’s the point of commenting on this? what will be the result? To make the American hate Chinese and look down upon them? Whoever wrote this article has a totally negative view against China. No matter what Chinese do or say, there will always be ppl who disagree and argue. Just from the performance stand point, Chinese Women’ team deserve this gold mental. I wish everyone here was happy for them and appreciated their effort. It’s not that hard to be friendly.

  9. Hi Linda, Welcome. People are passionate about this.

    You have to read the articles again though. The proof even came from China’s own records. Maybe someone will file suit; but international suits are rarely rewarded. But you can bet that many of the leading coaches will file complaints with the IOC regarding the rule.

    If you read the article thoroughly, you would know the IOC deferred the responsibility for proof to China’s Gymnastics Federation! That is like asking a drunk driver to do his own breathalyzer test!

    The IOC copped out, and China took advantage. That was the entire point of the article.

    Bela Karolyi, the former coach of Olympic gold medalists Nadia Comaneci and Mary Lou Retton said “Shame on the IOC if they don’t do anything about it.”

    Well, maybe they will, but it will be a day late and a dollar short!

    If you need more proof, all you have to do is open your eyes. There is no other team that looks this young and no Chinese 16 year old competitor that ever looked like them, especially Deng Linlin, who may be as young as 10-11.

  10. Ok, So much comment is posted here, is someone going to talk to IOC? Does anyone have any evidence other then “assumption”? When will New York Time hire a laywer to fight for the “truth”? Is there a court for this? Let’s see what IOC will do about it.

  11. As we said in the article, the International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge deferred responsibility for enforcing the age limit to China’s gymnastics federation, but isn’t that like letting the fox watch the hen house?

    They are allowing a country that decided to cheat to govern whether they are cheating or not. That is like asking a drunk driver to administer his own breathalyzer test. Stupid on its face.

    And of course, as you state, it all does come down to proving it. There is already plenty of proof. The New York times and leading coaches have already spoken out. Please read the article again. Thanks.

  12. Certainly Amy. The main problem is that it dramatically shrinks the playing field if you observe the restrictions. There is physically no difference between a girl that is 15 years adn 8 months and a girl that is 16, but the former cannot compete.

    Because the US chose to abide by the rules, they were forced to select several women that would not have otherwise made the team. In addition, they were riddled by injuries, and their 14 and 15 year olds would have provided an enormous reserve.

    On the flip side, China, by cheating, was able to use all the talent on their team, picking from the best and healthiest between 12 and 20, regardless of their age. All it cost China was some ink on the forged passports.

    There are other reasons in the article, such as why smaller athletes tend to perform better. Please recommend it to your friends.

    Thank you.

  13. this isn’t about who won and who lost. this is about the IOC supporting and demanding an equal, fair playing ground for all. it is clear that some of the chinese women gymnasts, if not all of them, are underage. it is clear that the chinese government covered it up as their culture believes in doing whatever is necessary to achieve the required outcome. that is not what the olympics games is about and the sooner that the IOC acts in reprimading china, the sooner the integrity of the games can be reestablished. if not…what is the point of the games?

  14. Seriously, those girls on the Chinese team haven’t even hit puberty, they do not even have a high enough body fat % to have begun menstruating. Like China doesnt have a history of cheating aswell as genetic engineering, in a land of midgets they have the most 7 footers in the world. AMERICANS also cheat, but without the aid of their own Govt, whereas Chinese athletes are more than likely forced to cheat with the full support and aid of the Chinese Govt. I dont know who the hell the chinese think they are fooling by putting these pre-pubescent little girls in the Olympics. They cheated on the opening ceremony, most of the fireworks during the opening ceremony were computer generated, and they even faked the little girl singing because the real singer was’t cute enough, ridiculous. I dont give a (EDITED) if the Americans came in last, it has nothing to do with the Americans were beat, its that the Chinese had to cheat to win, I would feel bad for any second place team.

  15. Dear L
    Who exactly sang “Ode to the Motherland” in the opening ceremony ? Why fake it ? Fake fireworks?
    Why all the deception ? One look at some of those very talented children on the Chinese women’s gymnastic team leads to only one thing… more deception. Do I believe the Chinese state controlled press releases or my lying eyes? Some were a couple of years younger than 16. Period.

  16. There is already proof that the girls on the Chinese team are underage, called out by Coach Karolyi among others including the New York Time and China’s own state website.

    It isn’t a matter of whether communism is better or worse, it is a matter fo whether you believe the Chinese passports that coincidentally have almost every girl at exactly 16, or if you believe the media and common sense.

    Chinese women can look slightly younger than American women, but it is evident these girls are vastly younger than 16.

    Again, it has nothing to do with knowing what it is like being in China, it has to do with enforcement of the rules. Had the US been allowed to bring in their 14 and 15 year olds, injuries would not have plagued their performances. And perhaps even the Russians or another team allowed to bring in their 14 and 15 year olds would have taken Gold.

    We do not think it wrong for girls 14 and 15 to compete. Because of the rule, there are tons of talented 14 and 15 year old gymnasts in the world that will get less Olympic exposure and have fewer opportunities to compete, and by breaking the rule, the Chinese not only hurt the Olympics, but they took advantage of all other teams by guaranteeing their own future talent. US 15 year olds will not be able to compete until they are 19 now, and will be lucky to get in to one Olympics. The Chinese, by cheating, will likely get 2 or 3 Olympics out of their athletes.

    We believe that the Chinese are not totally at fault. The rule cannot be enforced and the Chinese recognized it and forged a few documents. But we do believe that the Chinese did flagrantly violate the rule and it was unfair to all the teams in the Olympic Games.

  17. It is not so much what we expect of China as much as what we expect from the International Olympics Committee. If you pass a rule that applies to all teams in the Olympics, and that impacts the careers of young gymnasts across the globe, you have to be able to enforce it.

    Otherwise, it is the athletes that suffer. There were many talents on the American Squad that were 14 and 15 that could not participate in this Olympics because of the rule. By the time they can complete, they will be 18 or older, and that is a distant 4 years away, so an injury or other problem could destroy their dream before it has a chance to happen.

    In addition, this American squad was laden with injuries. These women were qualified despite injuries because they were the best or only choice that made the age cut. Having a broader selection allowed the Chinese to enter the games unscathed. Had we been able to select from our pool of awesome 14 and 15 year old talents, even for alternates, those injuries may well have been mitigated.

    It is these athletes that China cheated, but more-so that the IOC let down.

    On the flip side, had we been able to select from the younger girls, some of the wonderful women that did perform in this competition would likely have not made it to China. It cuts both ways.

  18. TO dmac:
    Have you been to China before? if not please take back your ignorant comments, you dont know what is like there. Chinese did better then US team, PLEASE acknowledgment it and stop looking for excuses. You , Communism is better than you think, .

  19. I dont think they are under age but I do think they are fantastic!
    Asian tends to look younger than their age.
    These Chinese girls are young but they beat those elder players with their prefect performance!
    I respect them, they are the best!!
    Please focus on enjoying their performance, sharing their happiness rather than making non-sense comments like this.

  20. This really was the Chinese Girl’s Olympic Team. The Chinese have found a way to coordinate Day Care with their Olympic goals.

    The saddest part is all the young talent that was ruled out for the Olympics competition because of the age limit, and the IOC looked the other way as the Chinese clearly violated the rules.

    The US Olympic team would have been quite different had they not honored the IOC rules, and we see it no different than allowing some teams to use banned substances and others not. It has to be all equal, or there will always be doubt about the final result.

    Unfortunately, what is “right” is in the eyes of the beholder. And the Chinese will greet their Champions and we won’t see them again until the next Olympics, when they actually will be 16.

    Hopefully, our girls will all have great futures and hopefully get commercial endorsements and be rewarded for their lifetime of hard work.

  21. Well, the Chinese women, (very young women), gymnastics team is going to win gold. I only hope the IOC has the guts to take the gold medal away when it is proven that they are cheating. To China cheating is so much in their culture that they don’t even recognize a lie when it is proven. Look at where most software is stolen, where most stolen cell phone numbers end up, where technology patents are broken like most of us break a simple promise to not cross the street to our mothers when we are children.

    Character is defined as doing the right thing when no one is looking. The IOC depends on countries to tell the truth and they won’t look. China has no character; I hope they can live with themselves while they push their 10 to 12 year old girls to compete, cheat and win. Congratulations ?????!!!!!????

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