Thursday, August 21, 2008

China has major age scandal with its Olympic gymnast(s)


David Flumenbaum has written a detailed blog entry in the Huffington Post demonstrated the evidence that China’s (female) gymnast He Kexin is actually 14, two years under the legal minimum age for legitimate competition. The link to his site is this and the name of the article is “Scandal of the Ages: Documents Reveal Underage Chinese Gymnast”.

Flumebbaum’s blog entry integrates several search engine cache copies of China Daily articles about Kexin, the oldest of which admits to an age of 14. Cache copies on the Internet are a well-known source of “reputation mischief”; even after a webmaster corrects and item or removes information on request to deal with a publicity problem, the public can still find the information in caches. There is even a China Digital Times article that refers to him as 13. Apparently the problem was explosed by an "ordinary" blogger in China, and gives one reason why China's government fears free speech.

There is discussion of how one can tell someone’s age at inspection, but that is not true. China is well known to pressure young athletes for success to make “The People” look good.

But, in these Olympics, the “visiting teams” are doing well. Home team advantage has not worked that well. Think of swimming as “Baltimore at Beijing” and you don’t even need the Orioles when you have Michael Phelps. We learned today that his mother is a school principal in suburban Baltimore.

Major news outlets have many stories now on the age scandal in the Olympics.

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