Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Silver is sweet

The Olympics are seriously killing my beauty sleep. They don't finish on TV where I live until midnight or after (CST). I stayed up late last night watching the women's gymnastics team finals.
Our girls might be a bit disappointed after their blunders, but seriously. A silver medal at the Olympics? That's crazy awesome. That means they're better than 99.99999999% of gymnasts in the world. Plus the infants who beat them, though extremely talented, are most likely a big bunch of cheaters.

According to MSNBC, "Some documents and media reports suggested that He Kexin, Jiang Yuyuan and Yang may have been two years under the minimum age of 16." Apparently the New York Times found a sports registration list of gymnasts that listed He Kexin's birthday as Jan. 1, 1994. That would make her 14. And a list of competitors at a Chinese competition last year lists Jian Yuyuan's birthday as Oct. 1, 1993. Which would make her 15. Their passports now say otherwise.

During the broadcast last night, NBC's crazy gymnastics announcer guy certainly seemed to think China lied. So did a journalist who was interviewed on NPR this morning. She pointed out that the average weight for China's female gymnastics team is 77 lbs., while the average of the American female gymnastics team is 106 lbs. They're supposed to be tiny, sure, but these girls would look more at home in an elementary school classroom.

We'll never know for sure, and the International Olympics Committee seems satisfied the girls are 16. But if they're not, China ought to be majorly ashamed of itself. Being obsessed with beating the U.S. in number of gold medals to the point of using underage girls to achieve that goal is low. And sad. If China wants to be a true world power, it needs to step up and give its people their due credit. The Chinese are talented enough that they can win awards because they are the best, not because big daddy government stepped in and "fixed" it for them.

The Chinese government seems to be inordinately obsessed with being perceived in the best possible light. I think it's acting like a whiny teenager. When China starts acting like an adult, the international community will treat it like one. Until then, they'll apparently keep pulling bizarre stunts like this.

Off the soapbox now. On a lighter note, I found this "letter" to the women's gymastics team and it pretty much sums up my thoughts on their winning the silver. You go, girls.
P.S. Catch Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin (my fav!) go for gold in the all-around on Thursday night.
**Update: This MSNBC article included several funny newspaper headlines from around the world regarding the bizarre stunt I referred to above, where the little girl who sang "Ode to the Motherland" and flew on wires in the opening ceremonies was lip-synching to the voice of another girl. The reason? The lip-syncher's voice wasn't good enough, but the singer wasn't cute enough. Yeesh.
Some headlines...
The Times of London: “The counterfeit Games: designed to look good from every angle”
The Age of Austrailia: “China’s wrong child policy”
7Plus of Romania: “Hoax! Made in China”


Chad Aaron Sayban said...

I have to agree that those Chinese gymnists certainly don't look much more than 14. I think that sooner or later the truth will come out. The question is if the IOC will have the stomach to do anything about it.

As for the swimming, the USA is looking fantastic in the games. What is shocking to me is just how ordinary the Australian swim team suddenly looks. They sure are not the dominate power in the pool they were just a couple of years ago.

I'm not getting much sleep these two weeks of the games either.

Joshua said...

As admitted earlier today, I'm guilty of internet stalking when I'm bored! :-) Totally enjoying your blog (and shoe pics!). If only my blog had more expensive shoes and less foul language...

I agree on the Chinese. I've been so sad for the little, fat Chinese girl that got "Milli Vanilli'd" by the super cute girl in the red dress that can't sing.

Anyway, glad to be in touch. I'm terrible about it (like my dad).

P.S. I will thank God every day that you are one less victim of law school!

Becky said...

I'm also a victim of sleep deprivation this week. The men's AA wasn't over until 1am last night! I can't keep up with this! ;)

However, I WILL be watching the women's all-around tonight!
:) Becky