Russell Brunelle (russellb) wrote,
Russell Brunelle

The Olympic gymnastic controversy

The New York Times published evidence about seven weeks ago suggesting that several of the gymnasts competing for China in this year's Olympics are only 14 years old. The minimum age is supposed to be 16, and apparently being younger than 16 can provide a huge advantage in this particular sport.

What China wants out of hosting the Olympics is to take its place amongst the world's superpowers, while breaking from impressions of the past to re-introduce itself as a thoroughly modern nation worthy of international respect. They spent $100,000,000 on the opening ceremonies alone with this in mind. But here's how I see it: years from now almost nobody will remember how many gold medals they won in gymnastics, but if they get caught cheating as a nation people will remember and resent that for much, much longer.

Why China would ever risk their enormous Olympic investment, and the one-time chance to change their international image which hosting the Olympics represents, just to win a few more medals in ONE sport is completely beyond me.
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