China “Cheats” Their Way To Olympic Gold In Women’s Gymnastics. USA Silvers.

America was about to compete against the Chinese “Women’s” Gymnastics Team.  After a brilliant vault, Deng Linlin of China returned to the sidelines to be greeted and congratulated by her teammates.

The American team was nearby, and what was absolutely apparent was that the American team all looked 16.  Most of the Chinese team barely came up to the American Girls’ shoulders, and looked to be between 13 and 14 with the exception of Deng Linlin who looked all of 11 years old.

The minimum age requirement for women to be considered eligible for Olympics competition in gymnastics is 16, and somehow almost all the Chinese girls have passports that confirm they are exactly 16.  These, of course, were printed by the Chinese Government.   The International Olympic Committee has chosen to trust China to be honest in this competition despite how obvious the violation is.

The USA Team Competes

First Vault by an American was Bridget Sloan.  She jumped a perfect vault, and although a little off center on the landing, stuck it well within the line.  Her total score 15.200.

Shawn Johnson vaulted next, leaping and tumbling perfectly in the air.  The difficulty on Shawn’s vault was greater, and as she landed, her legs crossed.  Despite the slip, her score for this incredible jump was 16.0.

Alicia Sacramone was next.  Her vault was nearly perfect except for a small hop at the end.  That would cost her 1/10 of a point.  But the difficulty was high and she totaled 15.675, placing the team ahead of China, but both China and the US were trailing Russia.

Chelsie Memmel, a world champion on the uneven parallel bars took the floor.  Because of an injury, Chelsie would only compete in this event.  Therefore, the bars would be everything for her and her only contribution to the team.  This would be her last Olympic exercise, and she was near perfection.  Her landing motionless.  Her score, 15.725!

Shawn Johnson was quick and smooth in her performance and did a dismount that is among the hardest in the competition.  She nailed it without so much as a ripple.  Her score, 15.350.  This was disappointing after that great dismount.  It was difficult to explain this low score.

Nastia Liuken is stellar on the bars, and she executed a routine that is incredibly difficult.  Every move was perfect.  She fell on her last dismount in the qualifying round.  Not this time.  Score, 16.900, as close to 17 as we have seen.  As she stood awaiting her score, Nastia stood behind Deng Linlin.  Deng barely reaches the bottom of Nastia’s neck.

The next challenge for the Americans was the balance beam.  Alicia Sacramone fell off the beam.  And her look was total disgust.  She fell just jumping on the beam and lost 8/10 of a point to start.  Her dismount was amazing, but it would be negated by the poor beginning.  Score 15.100.

Liukin had to save the day and started well, but lost her balance half way through.  Despite the slight slip, her dismount was perfect, and it needed to be.  15.975.

Shawn Johnson finished up on the beam, beginning with three backflips executed perfectly.  She hit every move and then landed with only a slight step on an incredibly difficult dismount.  Score, 16.175.

After the beam, the separation between China in first and the US in second was only one point despite the “Sacramone”ous fall.  If Alicia had not slipped on the beam, the US would likely be ahead.

The Americans’ Sacramone began the floor event and could not shake the nerves.  She fell backwards, landing on her behind, after a double forward flip, losing 8/10 of a point.  The upset from her prior fall was probably just too much for her to handle, and you know she was devastated.  That fall likely gave China the gold, barring disaster.  She was brilliant in the rest of the exercise, until she stepped out to lose another 1/10 of a point.  Everything that could go wrong did.  She knew she had just lost the gold for her teammates even after all the years of practice, and at 20 this is likely her last Olympics.  She was afraid to look as the score posted at 14.125, a score the rest of the team could not hope to make up.

Nastia Liukin was next and stepped out on her first move, losing 1/10 of a point.  The exercise was beautiful, so hopefully, she could score well, but it likely wouldn’t matter after the disaster in the first exercise.

Shawn Johnson is the World Champion.  But even perfection could not win this for the Americans if it were not accompanied by disaster for the Chinese (such as their true age being revealed maybe)?  Even Shawn stepped out on the first pass.  1/10 point gone.  The entire team was rattled by Sacramone’s heartbreaking performance.  Alicia was holding tears inside, and the other girls felt it.  Shawn did well, but NBC decided a commercial was more important than displaying her score.

Why This Competition Was Unfair Before the Olympics Even Started

Bela Karolyi, the former coach of Olympic gold  medalists Nadia Comaneci and Mary Lou Retton, was interviewed before the Chinese performed, and said, “This young Chinese team (is) using 14-15 year olds, all kids, they have no pressure…”.  When asked if he believed the Chinese team was cheating, he said “that is obviously documented.  Half the Chinese team is underage.”

Karolyi followed the event with the statement, “I have to comment the Chinese Team, (are) good kids; nothing to say about that.  Too bad they are underage and should not be legally accepted…”

In other words, it is too bad that we allow the Chinese to cheat right under our nose and do nothing about it.  The Chinese Girl’s Olympic Team Gets the Gold.

And so we leave you.  The US did not execute their best game, but they also could not choose from the same range of talent the Chinese could.  The age limit should either not exist or be universally enforced.  Anything else is clearly unfair to our athletes.

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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Please take time to read our related post: Chinese Women’s Olympic Gymnastics Team, Are They Way Under Age?
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Photo Credits: Lluis Gene / Al Bello / Getty Images
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31 thoughts on “China “Cheats” Their Way To Olympic Gold In Women’s Gymnastics. USA Silvers.”

  1. @JudgeMarySmith
    WOW. You are really rude. Have you ever seen an American gymnast? They are all small, firm, and fit. I can’t believe you have the nerve to call Olympic athletes (the smallest of these- gymnasts) fat. What do their bodies have to do with a different nation cheating anyway? I’m hoping that you are not truly a judge.

  2. Hi Carrie, Welcome…

    We love our readers that deny the evidence.

    How typical of the Chinese government to lie and cheat. Or didn’t you notice that the Chinese did this before and snuck in an underage girl who later admitted on Chinese state television she was only 14. Her reward by the Chinese? We don’t know overall, but we suggest it was punishment for her family and her. She never saw the Olympics again.

    The Chinese people are great and suffer at the hands of an abusive totalitarian government that would even cheat in the Olympics they sponsor by abusing young girls, and you accuse us of being poor sports? Please. You have to have a better argument than that.

    So what do you derive from the Chinese government’s actions? That Deng Linlin is a 26 year old PHD in Gymnastics?

    Try reading our other articles before getting all huffy. Then you may see how badly the Chinese government abuses these girls.

  3. How typical of the Americans. Just because they’re sour losers who didn’t win gold, they must go accusing the winners of cheating with no proof. Just accept the defeat you bloody Americans. Can’t stand the fact that another country beat you? Stop being so proud. The Chinese team obviously had more skill. And of course the Chinese girls looked young next to the American team. I have noticed that Chinese teenagers generally do look much younger/smaller/slimmer when compared to American teenagers who look far too old for their age. The Americans are the disgrace.

  4. China cheats in olympic games. Is anyone really surprised at this?
    This is a country that consistently cheats the world, and its own citizens.
    I don’t feel the need to go on a China bashing rampage here, because:
    1) The chinese government bashes itself daily by being the way it is.
    2) The chinese industrial sector bashes itself with faulty and contaminated products.
    3) The chinese people bash themselves for tolerating it.

  5. By the way folks, do us a huge favor, PLEASE!! If you believe China Cheats and that we are right calling out this fraud, please Hype us up. All it takes is an email address and ShowHype is great at not giving them out to anyone. It is out best chance at conveying this disgrace to the world!!

  6. China demonstrated again how they cheat in these Olympics in tonight’s event. We will shortly be releasing PROOF of China’s cheating along with our commentary as well as that of experts in the field.

    China has great athletes and a huge country, but they resort to cheating in a way that is so obvious to everyone in the world. They are indeed a disgrace both to the Olympics and their people.

  7. Cheating is cheating. One of the USA swimmers was found to be taking performance enhancement drugs and she was not allowed to compete. There are records of these Chinese gymnasts being underage when there is the rule that states no one under 16 is allowed to compete. China broke the rules. They cheated. Shame on the IOC for not jumping on this right away. And they won’t. You know why? Because they don’t want to be a part of controversy! God forbid it was the reverse and evidence stating the USA’s team was underage was found, there would be tremendous uproar from everyone. The IOC would revoke the USA’s medals right away. You know why? Because the USA currently isn’t under any “pressure”. It’s a load of phooey.

    Personally, I think the age limit should be lowered or either nonexistent. As many have stated, this gives China an unfair disadvantage not only in this Olympics, but in the next one. What makes me mad is that probably nothing will be done about all of this. What ever happened to the integrity of these games? When did breaking the rules become OK?

  8. Hi Look, Welcome to the Discussion.

    It isn’t that the Chinese team do not look 16. It is that most of them are not 16, period. Sports Illustrated and the New York Times already exposed that information, even finding evidence in China’s own records exposed the truth. As they appeared, the Chinese scrambled to cover it up and just said there were errors. Right, errors on only the girls underage in the Olympics, not the hundreds of millions of other women in China.

    You say it is documented, but the only evidence of age are government passports with wet ink showing every underage girl to be, you guessed it, exactly 16. What an incredible coincidence.

    As far as writing about the American team, please read our About Page. We do not have the staff to cover the entire Olympics, but if you would like to take over as a writer reporting on the Chinese team, we would be glad to consider your submissions for publication.

    Your post appears to indicate you did not read the article at all or skimmed it. The issue is not experience in this instance, because certainly, if it were, the Chinese would have brought a team of legitimate age to the Olympics. It has much more to do with broadening the field and acquiring experience for younger athletes for future gold.

    As Coach Karolyi said, “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.” And the US Athletes on the team that abide by the rules and happened to be 15 years and 10 months won’t be able to compete at all until they are nearly 20. You think that fair? And as far as your “experience” argument goes, they will have much less experience than their Chinese competition who will have already performed in the Olympics when they were significantly under age. Certainly, you can understand that as well.

    We will be publishing a new article shortly that shows how it was advantageous for the Chinese to cheat. We do not blame the girls, but it is unfair to legitimate teams throughout the world.

  9. Well there are a couple of things I’d like to point out here.
    First let’s all agree that the Chines competitors don’t really look like they’re 16. We can clear that out of the way so I won’t get flamed for this.

    More importantly is the spin coverage that’s been put on this. I realized about half-way down the article that it’s all about how great the US did and not about anyone else. The Olympics is in essence about global unity (whether or not it’s actually displayed is up to debate) and talking about only how great the US is not promoting that concept. Think about that.

    Then there’s the fact that people are angry because these girls are under the age of 16. First off, the documents show that they’re 16, and even though the PRC printed that document it would behoove all of you to accept that they are 16. For the rest of you who still won’t believe it here’s something for you to consider:

    Lets say these girls are 13. The oldest competitor on the USA team is 18. This girl has had 5 more years of training, 5 more years of experience, 5 more years of wisdom, knowledge, and learning. So how is it unfair that the 13 year old won? The saying goes “taking candy from a baby”, not “taking candy from someone older than you, with probably more experience”.

    The bashers and flamers of this world needs to learn that the US needs to win with a smile and lose with a smile. So we lost ONE medal. The Chinese can’t even RUN track and field. We can sweep the field with that section; there are over 15 golds to get in track and field. Why cry over spilled milk? This is a once every four years experience and all you can think about is that ONE silly medal? And it’s not about the idea, not the principle. It’s that you, the basher or flamer, hate losing. Well, losing is a part of life. Learn to deal with it.

  10. Someone said don’t judge by appearance?? Well, the chinese do. Appearently the girl who sang the ode to china in the opening ceremony was actually back stage cause she was judged not cute enough and had no stage presence. So they get a so called cuter girl to lip sync the opening ceremony. What a distorted, pathetic, totalitarian point of view. Fricken communistic pricks. Down with china…

  11. Would you use make-up or masks? There is proof other than their looks. The Chinese are not Mission Impossible. They are just cheating.

    Checking age is another factor that takes time. This could backfire on the Chinese in the long run as the tenacious media digs out the truth. The New York Times and Sports Illustrated already uncovered lies and the Chinese scrambled to cover them up.

    There are only two solutions, either you drop the rule or enforce it. A rule that is not enforceable hurts only those honest enough to obey the rule. It serves no one. Dropping the rule places all teams back on an even plane.

    Otherwise, you have to find a way to verify the age. You can’t say that you are going to allow one group of athletes take banned substances, but not another. You have to set up systems to test both and you certainly don’t leave it to the country using the illegal substances. That is like asking a drunk driver to do his own sobriety test and deliver the results.

    China is not and has not been under any pressure to be seen in a positive light by anyone. The government has already covered up several sources that showed the girls to be under age without releasing the source of the supposed errors. Of course these errors ONLY occurred on girls in competition for the Olympics, not the hundreds of millions of other women in China. That doesn’t just defy statistics, it defies logic.

    Asians in general have smaller statures and look younger. So, certainly if Japan among others also all looked 12 years old and not just one but the entire team looked like they were 2-5 years under age, you may have an argument. Only the Chinese team does. And only the Chinese team has been found in violation by numerous media outlets and accused by Olympic judges.

    Hope I answered your questions, most of it is already answered in our other articles.


  12. First of all, it doesn’t matter whether or not young girls should be allowed in the Olympics. The fact is that they aren’t, and China has broken that rule. I understand that some Chinese girls are petite and may look young, so I’m not judging by that. I’ve seen some American girls who look 3 years younger then they are, as well. But there are articles about these girls competing where they are eleven, twelve, or thirteen years old right before the Olympics. That’s the proof that these girls are clearly underage. China cheated, and again, it doesn’t matter whether or not they won, but it [i]does[/i] matter that they broke a rule clearly knowing that it was being broken.
    And JudgeMarySmith, ALL Olympic athletes undergo constant, intense, drug testing. If they were on drugs, they’d automatically be disqualified. One of the athletes was, in another sport, disqualified for using drugs in the past, I believe. So next time you say something, make sure you know it’s at least possible.

  13. Interesting conversations you have going on here, but there’s a few interesting questions i would like to post.

    Isn’t it a LITTLE TOO obvious that the chinese team LOOKS young? I mean, come on! if i was going to cheat i would at least make it look more believable. Placing young looking gymnasts in front of the cameras and not to mention hundreds, thousands, millions of people is just ASKING for someone to come up with this topic and start an ‘investigation’ on this. Unless they’re really over 16 and didn’t cheat to get in, then we’d just be wasting our time here.

    Another thing is how are you going to check whether they’re overage or not? Their passports says that they’re over the age limit and the government issues the passports so even if china did cheat how are you going to reveal it? (i’m not saying they did cheat, or that they didn’t, i’m just asking how you would know, 100% that they’re under the age limit and not just cause they look so. And the evidence has the be indisputable, not just someone saying it just is and that’s that. Hard evidence is required, innocent until proven guilty. Since everyone is set on the verdict of ‘Guilty’, that makes it difficult to find someone impartial to do this investigation, as anyone else will just raise questions as to the authenticity of the evidence).

    Thirdly, China’s under lots of pressure to be seen by the rest of the world in a good light, placing underaged athletes in the Olympics is not the way to go at it. So, is the Government willing to risk people finding out (especially since they look glaringly young?) i wouldn’t think so, China being called cheaters and liers is not what they were going for, i would think.

    Chinese people tend to have small statures so you really can’t fault them if they are short, and short does not equal young. Can YOU tell how old a chinese person is just by looking at their face? i mean, come on! I’m 21 and i constantly get people asking me for my passport/identification card when i walk into a bar or a casino…(yes i’m asian, so i should know that none of you westerners can really tell our age just by looking at us, i’m not saying you guys are dumb, just not as great in identifying whether or not a chinese person is of age or not just by their physical appearence)

  14. Hi JudgeMary, Welcome to the discussion.

    We thank you for your non-partial analysis and contribution. Your prejudices against other races have been registered and we thank you for them.

    As far as jealousy goes, I see nothing in the article that implies jealousy or that the Americans should have won.

    It just says that nations should not be allowed to cheat and all evidence points to the fact that China did.

  15. Americans are just being jealous as usual.
    They’re nothing but a bunch of SORELOSERS.
    Speaking about cheating….
    Just take a look at all of the american gymnasts’ necks and thighs. They’re unusually fat and thick! at least 3 times the size of the chinese, russians and romanians.

    trust me on this one, they ALL take drugs.

  16. 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.

  17. Thanks Pam, Great Response. Most seem to realize that it isn’t the fact that China cheated, it is that anyone that cheats hurts all the people in the Olympics. Because of the rule, many girls in many countries, including the US, despite being within a month or two of being 16 could not participate and will now have to wait until they are 20.

    By cheating now, the Chinese guaranteed they can bring their girls back in four years with Olympic experience and they will still be only 16-18, younger than the girls the US could NOT send this year. So, China didn’t just cheat in this year’s Olympics, they have already pre-cheated for the next games as well.

    If you liked this article, we would greatly appreciate it if you would recommend us on DIGG or ShowHype to get it out to as many people as possible. And thanks again.

  18. I can’t believe that some of you believe that it is okay for China to cheat because of the pressure they are under! There is NO excuse for cheating, period. The person above who wrote that must believe that wrong behavior is justifiable; I believe that wrong is wrong. You’re being very weak minded if you go through your life with this mentality. I feel sorry for you because I bet you lie, deceive and manipulate people to get what you want and then justify it so that you can convince yourself that your behavior isn’t wrong.

    What olympians haven’t worked hard to get where they are now? Who isn’t under pressure at the Olympics? If China wants to improve their image to the world, they should do it honestly. If they have to cheat to win, then they didn’t win at all. If the world turns a blind eye on this, I will be very disappointed. We can’t give China a pass any more than we’d give the US or any other country a pass. China should not be allowed to keep those medals if, in fact, it is proved that the girls are underage. That would be setting the wrong precedent for future games.

  19. What it comes down to is that China has demonstrated that even in the Olympics they sponsor, they are willing to cheat in front of the entire world.

    When one sees that the government is willing to falsify documents of young girls to exploit them in the games, one has to realize that is likely only the tip of the iceberg.

    What other opportunities have they had to ensure medals for China? One has to wonder when one cockroach scurries across the floor if there aren’t a few hundred in the cupboard.

  20. What did you d to the opening ceremony?? FAKE FIREWORKS, FAKE SINGER, a kid doing the lipsync??!! UNDERAGED ATHLETES?!! A country where ALL piracy originated and all crappy MADE in CHINA stuff invading America?? IMITATIONS OF PRODUCTS??! C’mmon now….

    Even all these are true, it is nothing compared to the fact that your government CHEATED, LIED, invaded another country and killed Hundreds of Thousands of Innocent people!

  21. It is not bashing China as I see it, and as near as I can tell, it was the Chinese contributor that was abusive. Having things made in China does not make cheating by that nation right. That is like saying you have purchased autos from Japan, so that makes bombing Pearl Harbor a cool thing. And how many Chinese knock-offs have destroyed or desperately damaged companies here? That is free trade alright. Free for the Chinese, but very expensive for the US.

    The evidence is there. China cheated. It hurt all girls in Olympic Gymnastics. And there was no reason. They probably could have won with a legitimate team or placed. And their own men won just dandy, they didn’t have to cheat.

    Bela Karolyi, the former coach of Olympic gold medalists Nadia Comaneci and Mary Lou Retton, was interviewed before the Chinese performed, and said, “This young Chinese team (is) using 14-15 year olds, all kids, they have no pressure…”. When asked if he believed the Chinese team was cheating, he said “that is obviously documented. Half the Chinese team is underage.”

    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.”

    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.

  22. While I personally find nothing wrong with this article, I have a problem with some of the comments that are slowly appearing here. China MAY have cheated (please note the emphasis on the word MAY), but only because they’re in the spotlight. They’re trying so hard to clean up their country’s reputation from the inside (the Great Firewall of China comes to mind) and now that everyone’s eyes are on China, they’re trying their best to promote a country with a reputation for excellence. And they might have done that if people hadn’t been caught out supposedly cheating.

    I guess if you ran a country and had the Olympics, you’d want to do your best to make sure everything went off without a hitch and promote a healthy tourism industry.

    So to those people who have, or will write comments here bashing China, think about the enormous amount of pressure they’re under to make sure Beijing goes from smog capital to “Clean, friendly, open city”. Besides, how many people have televisions or shoes or tables and chairs made in China? It’s the poor imitation stuff that gives stuff a bad name. a year after purchasing my Made In China bluetooth GPS receiver on eBay for half price, I’m still happy with it.

    However, I do agree that China could have done something else to give themselves the reputation they were after..


    What did you d to the opening ceremony?? FAKE FIREWORKS, FAKE SINGER, a kid doing the lipsync??!! UNDERAGED ATHLETES?!! A country where ALL piracy originated and all crappy MADE in CHINA stuff invading America?? IMITATIONS OF PRODUCTS??! C’mmon now….


    To the writers, thank you for this article!! Just subscribed to you feeds!

  24. The premise of the article is not that the US should win. The premise of the article is that the Chinese cheated and that hurts everyone in the Olympics. If you read our other article, you will find the evidence is well documented. And no, we have never ever seen a 16 year old that looked like a 10-11 year old, Chinese or otherwise.

    We have also not seen a single other team where EVERY girl except one looks like she is underage. Then, just coincidentally, each underage girl is exactly 16 according to Chinese passports that contradict their own internal sources.

    We are not the ones that are the first to report on this. We believe that the rule that girls be over age 14 is absurd. We think the Chinese and every other nation should have the opportunity to bring their best talent. Even our Mary Lou Rhetton was 14.

    The problem is that the Olympic committee passed a rule and let China break it. Tons of girls age 12-15 could not compete because of the new rules, hurting tons of teams. Perhaps Romania or Russia would have done much better and placed ahead of the US had they been able to use their 14 and 15 year old stars and clearly the US, riddled by injury, would have had a larger selection of talent to mitigate those injuries.

    China’s cheating also hurts everyone going forward, giving 12-14 year olds multiple chances on the Olympics while 15 year olds throughout the world were rejected and have to wait until they are 19. The Chinese team will be in their second Olympics between 16 and 19. Clearly an unfair advantage.

    What we are saying is not that the US should have won. We are saying the Chinese should not have been allowed to cheat. And we believe that even they would have honored their countrymen more had they not cheated. If, because the Chinese did not cheat, the Russians won, so be it.

    And if the Americans had won, which they likely would have if not for their oldest (20) performer, we still would have called the Chinese for cheating in getting the Silver.

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