Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Young Chinese Olympic Gymnasts Reduce Olympic Games To Childsplay

They bring serious threat to the U.S. gymnastic team, yet they have everybody talking for a different reason: China's Olympic gymnasts looks young... very young. They may not only young, but be young too, according to sources.

The New York Times' Harvey Araton questioned the seemingly young girl's age and went on to suggest what is happening:

"When in North America, do as the North Americans do (overreact). When in China, do nothing. For better or worse, these are the shrug-and-don’t-tell Olympics, undoubtedly because it would be considered impolitic to embarrass the Chinese after they went to such great expense to throw the world this lavish party."
MSNBC's coverage of the events suggested that the girls began to train for this Olympic quest when they were only 3 years old. What country or parent would drive their children to this kind of success? The Chinese gymnasts are probably not even old enough to understand the success of their careers, or even possibly the many schooling opportunities they missed to become the best. Cuba's Olympic beach volleyball team has a 37-year-old. The United State's Olympic swimming team as a 42-year-old. There is just no reason to reduce the Games to bitty 13-year-old competition. Let the girls live normal childhoods and let them choose to train for themselves.

(Image kindly borrowed from Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images).


Mekhismom said...

This is not surprising in the least. When China was dubbed "Communist China" those girls were taken away from their parents at around 3 and started training for the Olympics, same was true for Communist Russia. I don't know why anyone would think things would change. Although I wonder if they have an age restriction - perhaps 13 is the youngest age to compete?

Anonymous said...

If you can believe it, the Olympic committee says each athlete must be 16!!!

Diane L. Harris said...

Thank you. The exploitation of children is one of the worst human rights abuses, even if they don't understand that they are being exploited. What these girls do is wonderful and beautiful. The reasons that they are forced to do it are ugly.

Diane L. Harris

Sire said...

I like to tackle this from another tack. I always thought that ever since Nadia the 14 year gymnast scored a perfect 10 it was decided that you had to be 16 years older and above to be able to complete in the Olympics. If this is so then they should never had been allowed to compete let alone win anything.

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