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August 14th, 2008
10:09 AM ET

Olympic Gold Medalist says "let them play"

Shannon Miller
Olympic Gold Medalist

This is such an exciting Olympic Games!

The gymnastics skills that these men and women are doing are just ridiculous. They are all so talented and performing moves I never would have dreamed of attempting.

I am so proud of the American men. Losing both Paul and Morgan Hamm right before the start of the Games was devastating. This could have been a disaster.

Instead, they fought back. These six men, all first time Olympians, faced a grueling task. Along their journey to the medal podium they have shown excitement, class and dignity every step of the way. They turned a bronze medal finish into one of the most memorable moments of these Olympic Games.

As for the women, my heart goes out to them. I hope that they will continue to remember that they won a silver medal at the Olympic Games. That is certainly nothing to be disappointed about.

I know it’s difficult but they still have individual competitions to go and they must focus on what's ahead.
The women have dealt with some tough last minute injuries. Chellsie Memmel was only able to help on uneven bars, Samantha Peszek was out completely during finals and still they were doing an incredible job up until the dreaded balance beam.

Alicia Sacramone will have a chance to redeem herself during vault finals. She is one of the best in the world, certainly the best in the U.S. Realizing that she will be replaying those falls over and over for a very long time it’s important for her to remember that falls can happen to anyone. It’s not fun but you will get through it.

Shawn and Nastia will be exciting to watch in the Individual All-Around competition. But watch out for the Russians. They just missed a place on the medal podium and are looking to regain their status as a gymnastics powerhouse.

In the next few days the U.S. has a legitimate chance to bring home eight medals. If there are any athletes in the world (besides Michael Phelps of course) that could bring home some big hardware they are Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin.

And what would the Olympics be without controversy? The age of three Chinese gymnasts are under scrutiny. Interestingly, the three athletes made up the entire Chinese uneven bar squad, the event that solidified their lead over the United States.

However, the IOC and FIG (the two international governing bodies) have basically looked the other way. So we will likely never know their true ages.

I have mixed feelings. On the one hand I am not a fan of the age rule. I believe that the best athletes should compete, regardless of age. That’s what the Olympics are all about – the best of the best.

But those are the current rules and if we’re going to have a level playing field then we all have to play by the same rule book.

I am one of the few gymnasts who has ever been directly affected by an age falsification scandal. I lived in ignorant bliss. All I cared about was hitting my own routines and I rarely ever watched the athletes competing around me. I didn’t want to take the chance of getting psyched out by a great (or horrific) performance.

This is not a new phenomenon in gymnastics. One scandal affected me.

It started at the 1991 World Championships with a North Korean gymnast. Her coaches claimed she was 15 years old on documents for three consecutive years. She then competed at the 1992 Olympics with no front teeth while claiming to be 17 years old.

While she got to keep her medals, North Korea was punished by having to sit out the 1993 Worlds. One of those medals was a gold on uneven bars at the 1991 World Championships; also my first World competition. I got silver.

In retrospect, I don’t think about her age as much as I remember what a truly outstanding athlete she was. She won that gold medal with a 10.0 and earned every tenth. She was absolutely the best bar worker in that competition.

However, I strongly agree that once the rules are set you must abide by them. My hope is that one day they will do away with any type of an age limit.

I was 15 years old at my first Olympics. If I had to go by the current rules I would not have been eligible to compete in Barcelona. In fact, half our team would have been ineligible.

And if you had told me I was too young to compete I would have looked at you like you were crazy. That year I brought home five Olympic medals. Because of our experience at those Games, Kerri Strug, Dominique Dawes and I were able to lead the 1996 team to gold.

So everyone must play by the rules or “competition” is meaningless. My feelings are this:

  1. It doesn’t matter if it is doping or age falsification, if competition is supposed to mean something then the International governing bodies need to investigate and make sure that everyone is playing by the rules.
  2. I hope one day soon the governing bodies will revisit whether or not the minimum age limit rule makes sense. Girls with a dream will not stop training simply because they were born on January 1st instead of December 31st. It simply adds another four years to their journey.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Olympics
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. Linda K

    I thought those little girls didn't look over 16 and one had a caption beneath her name that said she was 20!! HA!! Perhaps one may be 18, but I think the little one who fell on her vault landing in the all around couldn't have been more than 13 at the most..I also couldn't belive how biased the scoring was in the all around Natsia and Shawn are lucky to have won medals at all, cause those judges sure didn't deduct alot especially from the Chinese!! Now I am no expert here, but a stuck landing should count for something, but the topic of this is age requirements and if the Olympic committe isn't going to inforce it, then why have one???

    August 15, 2008 at 7:44 am |
  2. Jim

    Sour loser mentality. American lost to themselves. The Chinese team didn't win with big margin. Had American not making that many big mistakes, Americans would have win the gold, no matter how well the Chinese team had performed.
    For those who shut themselves out of information, you are forming your opinion based on nothing. Maybe that explain why you don't understand what's going on 🙂

    August 15, 2008 at 6:43 am |
  3. C Pac

    Sure, perhaps those Chinese gymnasts are underage. But the reporting on this story is irresponsible.

    On the show, Dr. Gupta reviewed a graphic showing that the average height/weight of the Chinese gymnasts was about the same as the average height/weight of Chinese 12-year-olds. This was supposed to "prove" that the gymnasts were 12 years old. Obviously a fallacious argument: horseracing jockeys in the U.S. are the height/weight of an average 14-year-old. Does this mean that jockeys are all 14 years old? Of course the sport of gymnastics selects for short/light gymnasts!

    In general, the "those gymnasts look so young!" argument is absurd. We've all seen 16-year-olds who looked a few years younger, or who developed late. Obviously, these late-bloomers are perfect candidates for gymnastics. And everyone should know that Chinese generally grow and bloom later than Americans. So relying on appearance to support this argument shows ignorance.

    That being said, I do believe that the Chinese government would happily fake a passport to get a 14-year-old into the Olympics. I'm just tired of hearing people "prove" that by pointing out how young the girls look.

    August 15, 2008 at 6:09 am |
  4. Ashley C

    Pam S.

    Talking about human rights, your country killed a lot of middle east people in the name of justice.
    In my opinion, this is the epitome of manipulating the race issue, and it's so absurd to compare the weight and hight between whites and Asians.

    August 15, 2008 at 2:39 am |
  5. Ruthie

    Well, when I saw Lin Hao (the young earthquake survior), he didn't look to be 9 years old to me. I thought he looked about 5 or 6 and not just because he walked beside a giant. There are many Chinese people who are small framed and look younger. Now, what about the size of that American woman who was fencing? LOL @ Pam ~ not watching in protest, but still posting in here to bash the Chinese. We have no business telling another country what to do ~ like McCain's comment about Russia's invasion of Georgia ~ how invasion of a sovereign country is not acceptable in the 21st century. He seems to have lost a few memory cells. I say, Congratulations to these Chinese girls.

    August 15, 2008 at 2:11 am |
  6. Corey

    So many of you posting are completely missing the point. Itisn't about how old the Chinese gymnasts look and it isn't Americans complaining as sore losers. Journalists (even some in China) identified discrepencies in the Chinese team members ages from various publications. Whether of not the Chinese girls performed better or whether or not you feel the age rule is silly doesn't matter. Rules are rules and when some teams don't follow them it makes the competition UNFAIR. Younger girls are more flexible, smaller and more fearless – there is the unfair advantage.

    August 15, 2008 at 1:59 am |
  7. Stephen

    Is the USA the victim in defeat and when triumphant the virtuous winner? I am an American and have worked in sport (winter) for years with a number of nations and been to 4 Olympics. The rule of age seems ridiculous when you angle it from an unfair advantage of a younger athlete beating an older athlete. The rule was imposed so that there was protection of young athlete's developing bodies, not unfair competition. It was a mandate pushed on international sport mostly by North American sports systems and ethics. If the USA fielded the same age group would they have won the gold? Probably the same result but with a different excuse to pacify themselves with. Bela Karolyi, the NBC sports analyst was like Bill Clinton making excuses for his wife's shortcomings!

    August 15, 2008 at 1:46 am |
  8. kevin

    Another country might deserve the benefit of the doubt, but not China. Knowing the chinese quite well through my long business association with Chinese companies, I'm certainly not surprized. And after having our children poisened by leaded paint, our pets and our sick killed by tainted medicines, it's a wonder to me why anyone should be surprized. The Chinese don't view this as "cheating". It's that as a culture they only see the goal, and the path to achieve that goal is far less important. They wouldn't view that as cheating as much as a way of being "practical". They view our need to follow rules as "quaint". It's the same when they are under cost pressure and use a lower cost (alhough banned) leaded paint, or why they immediatly stop following qualify rules the minute thier customer leaves their factories etc etc etc. They are inherently unable to see that this "practicality" of thier is both wrong and is certainly cheating, so I fully agree with some others here that they should lose the medals, and therefore be exposed to a more accepted standard of honesty (both in the olympics, in business, and the way other governments deal with them).

    August 15, 2008 at 12:27 am |
  9. Jules

    Its just sour grapes. Everyone is looking for an opportunity to knock the chinese especially USA who think they are the best at everything. Just accept that sometimes you get beaten and take it like a man.
    My goodness, quite right what some others say, if it was americans on a scandal then you all would be saying the opposite.
    Asains are all much smaller than westerners anyway so who knows what the truth is.

    August 14, 2008 at 11:30 pm |
  10. Ray

    The event is over. Somebody won and somebody lost. Whenever has an older more experienced athlete complained they lost a younger less experienced one? No one has questioned the judging. So lets move on to something meaningful, until they award medals for whining.

    As for the opening ceremony cute lip-syncing singer and the real one being hidden from view; I can assure you this is typical in China. My daughter has been working in China for years. When people apply for jobs they have to submit a picture to apply for a job. The employer is perfectly able to select only good looking staff for dealing with the public. Retail employers will tell people that they are too ugly to work for them. (Too bad we don't have this where I get my starbucks coffee every morning. Instead some days I wake up to a face full of lip and tongue piercings that resembles some sci-fi alien.)

    August 14, 2008 at 11:23 pm |
  11. Pam S.

    By the way, my entire household is not watching the Olympics in protest of China's non-existent human and animal rights.

    August 14, 2008 at 11:10 pm |
  12. Philip Lynch

    I am so sick of the typical reaction to anything American that does not go as hyped or planned. This is why people from all over the world have such a distaste for American attitudes. The fact that the Chinese girls gymastic team upset the U.S. girls team gold medal plans is now fertile grounds for this growing and seamingly endless controversy that is meant to discredit the accomplishments of these extraordinary Chinese young women and negate their outstanding gymnastic success at this year's Olympics. The U.S. girls are and have always been world-class gymnists and have nothing to be ashamed of but give this a rest, if only in the true spirit of good sportsmanship. If age restrictions were violated in this competition then shame on the Chinese government and their gymnastic coaches for lying to us all. But lets face it, life is not fair and sometime you just have to suck it up. If it were, Al Gore would be finishing his second term as the American President and Hillary Clinton would be starting hers in 2009!

    August 14, 2008 at 11:07 pm |
  13. Nick

    One of my friends's wife was a gymnast in former Soviet Union, national level. Later, when she "retired" in her early twenties as a young she suffered severe health problems with serious complications with her female body functions (severe PMS etc). She also had a lot of trouble getting pregnant. She was pretty petite too. She was telling that when she was in the team as a little girl, they were giving them large quantities of several hormonal medications which slowed down their female development. It was done routinely, as part of training program to keep them competing longer.
    Now when I look at these little Chinese, I keep remembering this story.

    Nick

    August 14, 2008 at 11:05 pm |
  14. Pam S.

    I've studied China for years and what I don't understand is why the media and politicians are so surprised that China cheats at everything. Underage gymnasts should be stripped of their medals as would any American or Canadian athlete who breaks the rules. The politicians are really men with "no chest" (expression first stated by C. S. Lewis) who are afraid to stand up to China. I'm sick and tired of politicians in America who pander to the communist Chinese. It's obvious the Americans have no power over Chinese matters or, it seems, Russian matters. I have alot more to say about Chinese ethics but will refrain for now..

    August 14, 2008 at 11:04 pm |
  15. Julie N.

    I don't think it really matters whether you're 3.5 inches shorter and/or 30 pounds lighter; perhaps the Americans should either lose some weight or train harder.

    I think it's rather pathetic that the Americans, some of whom are in and around 20 years of age and have apparently been training at the elite level since the age of 10 lost to a bunch of 12-year-olds.

    August 14, 2008 at 11:04 pm |
  16. Eric

    Opps made a error.

    I agree with Delynn there are many ethnic groups in China that people don’t know about and remember in a country that tests children young they are looking for a specific body type so that may also play a role in why they look so young. If the officials know of minorities that have body types that are good for gymnastics then they have an easier time getting them into the program. Also if you combine that with their training since they were very young then I think it is easy for people to assume they are younger than they actually are.

    August 14, 2008 at 10:53 pm |
  17. Eric

    I agree with Delynn there are many ethnic groups in China that people don't know about and remember in a country that tests children young they are looking for a specific body type so that may also play a role in why they look so you. If the officials know of minorities that have body types that are good for gymnastics then they have an easier time getting them into the program. Also if you combine that with their training since they were very young then I think it is easy for people to assume they are younger than they actually are.

    August 14, 2008 at 10:52 pm |
  18. Abrahem

    Sanjay Gupta says they can take an xyray to see how old they are, Well you can but that is going to tell them your body's age, not your actual age, I'm a late bloomer, I'm 17 years old, and my bones age says I'm 14, whose to say these girls cant be the same?

    an why is there an Olympic age limit? its dumb just like how you have to be 18 in order to vote, I'm 17 and I know more about politics than 80% of America, you know why? Cause of CNN! 🙂 I have it in my Car and TV. Thanks Anderson for keeping me informed.

    August 14, 2008 at 10:50 pm |
  19. Lilibeth

    I'm sorry, Shannon, but rules are rules. They can change the rules for next time, but for now, the existing rules should be upheld. Otherwise, why even have these rules in the first place?

    Lilibeth
    Edmonds, Washington

    August 14, 2008 at 10:23 pm |
  20. Delynn

    One thing that hasn't been mentioned often, if at all, is that Asians tend to be smaller and younger looking than Europeans of the same age. Some ethnic groups in China have an average adult female height of less than five feet. My half Asian son had bones that scanned two years younger than his real age, and he was a lot smaller and younger looking than anyone else his age. His teeth fell out and grew back in two years later than his peers. He couldn't get braces until he was 16 because his teeth were not ready. He was actually smaller than his younger brother for about a year before he finally hit his growth spurt. If a half white boy can have that happen, why can't full Asian girls with familial traits that make them smaller and younger looking than our girls.

    I am not saying that China hasn't cheated, but even with bone scans there is really no way to prove that those girls are not as old as they say they are. And of course, heavy exercise routines can delay puberty and reduce "curves", as we found out in our own athletes in the past.

    August 14, 2008 at 9:09 pm |
  21. Ian

    Dominique Moceanu was only 14 when she was a part of the U.S. women's gymnastic team that won gold in the 1996 olympics, no one complained then. She was born Sept. 30, 1981, the olympic games took place from July 19 – Aug. 4, 1996 in Atlanta. Did the rules change?

    August 14, 2008 at 9:04 pm |
  22. Annie Kate

    In looking at the picture of all the Chinese female gymnasts on 360 the other day they all looked the same age to me. It always seems to me that the Chinese look younger than we do at the same age. The main thing though was that they performed better than the other teams – their excellence won them the medals. I am always awed by what the gymnasts can do – what hard work went into getting as good as each gymnast is. These girls – American, Chinese, Russian, etc – are all wonderful.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    August 14, 2008 at 8:49 pm |
  23. Jennifer

    This is not an issue of the US team complaining because they didn't win the gold. The age question of the Chinese team was brought up weeks before the competition by various news outlets, China included.

    The Chinese outperformed the US, no one is denying that. The problem here is that if the IOC has created this age rule, they did so for a reason and it should be followed by all persons competing in the sport. Perhaps, the only true way to make the playing field equal is to get rid of the age limit rule.

    All I know is that if all the other teams had girls that were 3.5 inches shorter and 30 pounds lighter, you can't tell me that what we witnessed the other night wouldn't have had the potential to turn out drastically different.

    August 14, 2008 at 6:01 pm |
  24. Stacy

    Shannon, my inner 12-year-old gymnast-wannabe is very excited to see you posting on the blog. The enjoyment I got watching you and your teammates in 1992 and 1996 is why I continue to watch the sport to this day.

    I completely agree that age should not be a factor in competing. As you noted, you were only 15 in 1992 and though I'm not sure of everyone's age of the 1996 team, Dominque Moceanu definitely would not have made the cut. The Chinese should not have broken the rules (assuming the girls are underage), but it sounds like the rules need to be changed.

    August 14, 2008 at 4:41 pm |
  25. Heather

    I think the perfect 10.0 should have been kept in .I think beyond the topic of doping,the only way to maintain the integrity and fairness that the Olympics games demands and stands for is to ensure a level and fair playing field. If using under age girls was China's version of some of our athlete's using performance enhancing drugs,then that is still cheating.Our athletes have suffered greatly from the cheating of others. Our current Olympic athletes have worked very hard to make it to Bejing on their own ability.Some have even voluntered for the latest doping tests.We live in a country that has a one sided trade policy with China.Ever look at the bottom of pretty much anything and it says made in china.They copy anything and everything.All those expensive purses they copy them almost to perfection.To the point of where it takes any expert to tell which is which.I mention this because they could easily forge passports for the little girls to say they are 16. They cheated our girls didnt.We have amazing awe inspiring athletes!

    August 14, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  26. Lisa

    The teeth don't lie. One of the young Chinese gymnast is missing her canine tooth (having lost her baby tooth). Canine teeth erupt in the human mouth between 11 and 12 years of age. The gymnast in question, while incredible to watch can be no more than 12, maybe 13 years old. I would actually have guessed her to be 11 or 12. Whether you are Chinese or American, teeth do not lie. Diet may be a factor in the development of one's teeth, but not that much of a factor. No. The Chinese girls, one for sure are definitely 2 or 3 years below the required age yet nothing will ever be done.

    August 14, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  27. Jan from Wood Dale IL

    Have any other countries complained about the ages of the Chinese women gymnasts, or is just the US? Didn't these same girls compete in World trials? Why weren't there complaints regarding their ages back then?

    Our US athletes devote so many hours to training and dealing with their own performance anxieties, but are they ever prepared for the added pressure the media and public put on them to bring home the gold? I really wish we would recognize and appreciate the effort it takes just to get to compete in the Olympics, and less on the hardware awarded.

    August 14, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  28. John

    Great article by the US's finest gymnast of all time, Shannon Miller! Shannon, we know that the 2008 squad will make you proud!

    August 14, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  29. JH

    I response to Ashley C.

    Have you been China? How do you know they've take away from their parents.

    I'm telling you that It's not true. It's not like the Americans took away the Indian people's kids to school. Definitely, not like that.

    To be fair, could you can work that way as people work hard to achieve their goal and get blamed.

    August 14, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  30. Mike in NYC

    Larry wrote:

    "...should affirmative action be a factor in who we send to represent us?"

    That way madness lies. The Olympics should be the ultimate meritocracy.

    BTW, we do have a range of ethnicities on our team. For one reason or another, some do better in certain sports than others.

    August 14, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  31. Mark

    Its about morals...rules will always be broken...humans will always find ways to cheat if they have no morals. You must have rules that can be enforced...age cannot be enforced...we cannot be angry at the Chinese for cheating...I would bet there are alot of American athletes at the games right now that are cheating in some form...while it makes us mad because we lost...they still performed...age cant be verified in a society that is completely controlled by an immoral government. Its not these athletes fault, its societies for becoming so immoral that we would cheat at no cost, and an Olympic governing body for making rules that cannot be enforced. They created this rule to hopefully curb some of the slavery that children in other countries are subject to due to the need to compete and be successful...it didnt work...so get rid of the rule...

    August 14, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  32. Joe

    I agree with Shannon on this one.

    Age should not matter, but since the IOC made a rule, rules matter.

    The biggest and most important point is the integrity of the host nation.

    China admitted to swapping the singer for the opening ceremony because she wasn't "pretty enough."

    As far as the athletes are concerned, let them compete.

    But when it comes to the integrity of one of the competing nations... That's an issue for concern and scrutiny.

    I'm also glad to see Shannon is just as beautiful as ever ;^)

    August 14, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  33. Missy

    And what about all the other countries who have gone by the rules? That is what makes it unfair when some break the rules, win, and are not penalized. Why have the rules?

    OK, yes, let them play, but then get rid of the rules if you are not going to enforce them.

    August 14, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  34. Susan

    Shannon:

    I do think that all countries should play by the rules set forth by the IOC. In the spirit of good will amoung the countries, we have to take China at its word. We will never know for sure IF there was any kind of age manipulation on the part of the Chinese gymnasts. They were the best. They deserve the Gold.

    It should be the best athletes of a country that get to compete in the Olympic games, no matter the age.

    Thanks for being one of the best that the US had to offer. We were all very proud of you.

    Susan
    Phoenixville,PA

    August 14, 2008 at 1:52 pm |
  35. Larry

    Jen, yes:) Considering the injuries they put on a great display.

    August 14, 2008 at 1:44 pm |
  36. Chicago

    Ashley C.

    The original article about the girls being underage came from Chinese sources... and compared to the Japense, Korean, etc girls they do look young... and to be forced into gymnastics at age three while taken away from your family as they do in China... It shouldn't even have been close.... Here you are free to chose what you want to do... which says something when you voluntarily work to be great!

    We aren't complaining... and as far a medals go (you know, practicing more and not complaining) more to follow... Track and Field start soon... so it's a long way to the final count.

    August 14, 2008 at 1:23 pm |
  37. Melissa, Los Angeles

    I love the picture of Shannon with all her medals! It's great to have her perspective as a former gymnast. I agree there should be no age limit – the best of the best should have the opportunity to compete against each other.

    Assuming that the Chinese team are underage – the fact remains they did a better job then we did with the falls and mistakes we had. I think it's the duty of the Olympics to revisit the age rule for the future though.

    August 14, 2008 at 1:21 pm |
  38. Danny Jin

    But I think that even the athelete didn't lie appearently but maybe sometimes they lied you didn't know...

    August 14, 2008 at 12:11 pm |
  39. Larry

    Hi Mike; I was just putting that out there as a topic, doesn't mean I'm pushing for it:)

    August 14, 2008 at 11:41 am |
  40. Larry

    Think its bad here; up in Canada they are ripping their athletes apart for having won no medals to date.

    August 14, 2008 at 11:38 am |
  41. Jen

    Larry, have you looked at the athletes we did send? The men's gymnastic team, for example?

    August 14, 2008 at 11:37 am |
  42. GHALIB

    change the rule!
    We need the best talents in the world.
    Age should not be CONCERN.

    August 14, 2008 at 11:28 am |
  43. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Larry, you've got to be kidding. The best should go, period. The same goes for any other job for that matter. The best qualified candidate should get the job.

    August 14, 2008 at 11:28 am |
  44. DJ

    The report comparing the US gymnasts to the Chinses gymnasts was disingenuous in the extreme. We all think the Chinses girls are under age, nonetheless, comparing white girls to Asians girls in size and weight is ridiculous, and you all must know that. Shame on you!

    August 14, 2008 at 11:18 am |
  45. Larry

    I think the spirit of the games got lost a long time ago when medals became the most important part of participation.

    August 14, 2008 at 11:14 am |
  46. Ashley C

    A whole bunch of sore losers.

    It seems Americans are getting more and more xenophobic, especially when it comes to China, oh, plus Muslim.

    The best way to solve this problem is for the US team to practice more and stop complaining.

    I remember when I came to the States for graduate study, my landlord couldn't believe that I was going to grad school; she thought I was 15.
    It's the whole eating habit and genetic factors that affect how old you look.

    August 14, 2008 at 11:06 am |
  47. KJ

    I agree with you Cindy. I watched the US perform, and they did a wonderful job. However, there were mistakes and in the end the Chinese won. Should everyone have to play by the same rules, yes. But, I think experience is more important then inexperience, so I do not really care if the girls were under aged or not.

    August 14, 2008 at 10:58 am |
  48. Michelle Fonthill Ont,Canada

    Why do the Chinees get away with having under age girls performing in this oylmpics it's a form of abuse . They won't do anything about of course and how can'tt they prove this is acruate through thier birth certifactes which are doctored to prevent any scandal . They will do what ever it takes to win at any cost it's all under the guise of fun and games but this is unjustly .

    Michelle

    August 14, 2008 at 10:43 am |
  49. Larry

    Should there be a greater representation of the ethnicities in the american athletes we send to the Olympics? IE: should affirmative action be a factor in who we send to represent us?

    August 14, 2008 at 10:36 am |
  50. Cindy

    The Chinese did break the rules it seems by the age of the girls but no one will do anything about it so why is everyone making such a big deal of it? If it was the U.S. that won and it came out that we cheated by using under age girls would this even be an issue here? I bet some in the past have "fixed" their ages so that they could compete. It's not like China is the first and I doubt they'll be the last. So who really cares? If nothing can or will be done by the Olympic governing bodies it's time to move on.

    Cindy...Ga.

    August 14, 2008 at 10:35 am |
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