Tag Archives: He Kexin

Random Gymnastics Thoughts

So I got back into blogging, fell back out.   Really it was just school.  Because let me tell you, Worlds put me so far back with my assignments.  Plus we all know there is a lull after such a big meet.   Of course I still keep up with everything.  And since I feel like writing a blog post yet have no particular concentration, I am writing all the random things I have been contemplating and discussing with my gymnastics buddy.  These are in no random order whatsoever.

  • Who will destroy Alicia Sacramone‘s comeback?  Will it be Kayla Williams, the girl who has the light speed ability to improve, and someone who looks to be a true force and a rock of a competitor?  Will it be Asac’s reincarnation from her own gym, Alexandra Raisman (who I believe may show us the real first quad twist on floor) or even Alica’s own body betrayal?

  • Aliya Mustafina will be standing on the AA podium at the 2010 Worlds

  • Viktoria Komova will be standing on the AA podium the year after that
  • Shawn Johnson and even Nastia Liukin will not compete again.  Comebacks may come when endorsements run out, but that is it.

  • Anna Myzdrikova I already hope to be the 2010 FX champion
  • Cheng Fei will come back. She will.
  • Nobody will ever do a front handspring better than Lilia Podkopayeva.  NO ONE comes close to that; her feet are even together.
  • I think it is a huge mistake to hold off using the 5-3-3 team format until the London Games; it is a bad idea period to use the Olympics as a test for anything.

  • On that note, the age rule is now even more frustrating.  For instance, our current junior national champion, Kyla Ross will not be senior eligible until 2012 (as opposed to the previous rule where she could have been competing in 2011).  Considering the year before is a qualifier to the next year’s Olympics, think about what that does to the non power countries.  Let’s say that Nastia came from oh…..Iceland (trying to pick a place where they don’t get a spot) and that she doesn’t turn 16 until the year of the Games.  She wouldn’t be able to compete because no one qualified for a spot the year before.  That would be wrong.  I oppose anything that prevents the best in the world from competing.  This is why I was sort of turning my back on the He Kexin debate last year.  Furthermore, one of the reasons the age rule is there is because those in charge think that it puts too much pressure on the youngins.  I will have to disagree with this because you can’t advance in this sport without being able to deal with pressure.   My proposed age rule is this:  When you are eligible to compete in the next Games, you are senior eligible for that quad.  Meaning that starting January 1st 2009, Kyla Ross would have the option to go senior.
  • if I haven’t harped enough, I am sooooo hoping for Russian reemergence this quad, starting with the 2010 worlds.  In addition to Mustfina, Tatiana Nabieva is another going senior.  I think the Russians need a bit more for vault (hopefully Nabieva can clean up that Amanar) and then I just don’t see where they have a weakness.

  • I wonder what will happen with Bridget Sloan; will she fade out?  Will she remain useful?  If she got an Amanar (and I am dying for her to do the front triple twist on FX) she would up her own usefulness.  Interesting stuff to think about.
  • Will Chellsie Memmel return?  I want her to so bad!  She and Nastia have sort of an open invitation to comeback whenever due to their incredible usefulness on one event; bars.  I also find it odd that bars has become our weak event over the last couple of years considering  they were once our strong event.

That is all for now, folks.

    Leave a comment

    Filed under Uncategorized

    2009 Worlds: Event Finals Commentary

    Wow.  So I must say that I have heard a lot of comments about this Worlds being boring.  Um….no.  This was WAY better than 2005 (comparable because there is typically a bit of a lull the year following the Olympics) and I think the quality of gymnastics that we saw we typically much higher than what we usually see after the Olympics.

    So let me just say that Worlds interrupted my life a little bit (and happily so).  I was very behind in school work, forcing me to come home directly after the nail biting Gator Football game and write a paper.  I watched the first night of EF until about 4am, and woke up at 7:45am to watch Day 2.  I nodded off during parallel bars a little bit.

    But here were the things that made me yell out loud.

    1.  Kayla Williams.  Well, her life just changed.  She will definitely be on the next world team.  The first American woman to win a world vault title.  But it’s not just that…..the quickness in which she has improved over the last few months is of Chellsie Memmel quality.  I am also willing to nominate her in the gruop of “Best DTY Vaulters” because I have seen what….5 or 6 DTYs from her and she has stuck….well, like all of them!  Hello the new Vanessa Atler (minus the nerves).  Can we also talk about how awesome her attitude is?  She is all business, and look at the way she runs off the podium when she is done, adorable.  Then she fights back tears.  Hello to one of my new favorites.

    2.  Beth Tweddle if this is your last competition I am glad it ends with a gold medal for you.  Nice last pass.  Sad she didn’t make bar finals.

    3.  Anna Myzdrikova would have beat Tweddle if not for that last pass.  The whip double arabian was one of the best pieces of gymnastics I have seen in quite some time.  (Or since Kayla’s DTY haha)  The Triple back tuck combo is also something of great originality.  I love this girl’s floor.  I am sad she didn’t come away with a medal.  But her awesome performances put hope into my, ‘Will the Russians reemerge as a gold medal threat?”  i can wait and hope.  bet you she will be on the World Team next year.

    4.  Ana Porgras is another person I am excited about.  3 EF’s and some really great style!  Her Memmel turn  on floor is amazing!  Really excited about this girl’s future.  How I wish she wouldn’t have fallen off the beam!

    5.  Yay for Marian Dragulescu winning two gold medals!  How I wish this would have been the Olympics!

    Side notes-

    He Kexin is looking even better.  WOW.

    -I wish Ivana Hong hadn’t wobbled all over the place, I think she could have gotten gold.

    Rebecca Bross didn’t do the Gogean, she only did a half.  In the AA I thought this was a mistake….was this planned?  Also, I like her double L.  These elements could have made her bronze on floor.

    -After Chinese Nationals, I said that if Deng Linlin didn’t fall, she would be world champion on beam.  This happened.

    Ksenia Semenova I am hoping just didn’t have enough time to perpare (I also heard she has a back injury, dunno if that is true) which I hope is the reason for her poor showing.  I really like her style.  Also I have that Russian hope for 2012.

    Lauren Mitchell is now a force to be reckoned with.  Watch out world.  i am still hoping that Dasha Joura will come back better than ever next year.

    -I hope Anna Pavlova is continuing and coming back.

    – I am not a big fan of Sui Lu‘s FX.  Sorry.

    -My biggest complain is the stupid bonus gymnasts get by doing jumps after passes (like Mitchell’s stag after her double arabian, though she does it nicely).  This completely negates the “stick your tumbles” rule.  Hate it.

    -Beam and floor routines are a lot smoother and look better with the code cutting it down to 8 skills.  Much better.

    -These execution scores are ridiculous.  Let’s take William’s DTYT score….a 9.175?  I think that was actually the HIGHEST execution score of WAG Worlds.  That should have been like at least a 9.5.  I would take a tenth for the split legs on the preflight, one for the slight crossing of the ankles toward the end.  MAYBE a tenth for distance.  You know what?  Let’s take a tenth for height too.  She lands ON THE LINE so no deduction there.  Okay, well that E-score is a 9.600.  What the heck is with all that anyway?

    Here is a list of what I wish would have happened at Worlds….

    AA

    1.  Bross

    2.  Sloan

    3.  Porgras

    VT

    1.  Hong Un Jong (wish she hand’t fell even if I love Kayla)

    2.  Ariella Kaeslin (this really happened!!!!)

    3.  Mzydrikova

    UB

    1.  Kexin

    2.  Tweddle

    3. Semenova

    BB

    1.  Deng (yay!)

    2.  Porgras

    3.  Bross

    FX

    1.  Tweddle (another ‘yes’!)

    2.  Myzdrikova

    3.  Mitchell (this is actually my favorite routine, but Myz’s tumbles I like better)

    Leave a comment

    Filed under Uncategorized

    2009 Worlds: WAG Qualifications Results – Rebecca Bross Leads With a Fall

    Click here for live updates.

    I will update this post all day long.  Turmoil for Bridget Sloan so far, fall on beam and messy floor has her behind Kayla Williams for FX!  Rebecca Bross can probably take away the FX Final spot.  Ivana Hong is currently 3rd on beam with a good routine (think she had a fall on bars)  Deng Linlin also had a good beam set but Romanian’s Ana Porgras leads beam so far!

    UPDATES

    Beth Tweddle fell and will not be in bar finals 😦  Awwww, and neither will Ksenia Semenova

    Even with a bad beam set, not her best floor, Sloan is 3rd in the AA with 2 subdivisions left.  Deng is in second, Porgras 1st.

    Sloan may be making bar finals (yay!)  And He Kexin received the only score in the 15’s with a 15.975 on her bar set.  (As a poster on wwgym said; Kexin could stop in the middle of her routine, go have a smoke break, and still qualify, hahahaha).

    Yang Yilin will not be in bar finals 😦

    Standings after 4 subdivisions (1 more left)

    AA

    1. Porgras (ROU) 57.300
    2. Deng (CHN) 56.350
    3. Sloan (USA) 56.075
    4. Kurbatova (RUS) 55.950
    5. Tsurumi (JPN) 55.925
    6. Yang (CHN) 55.500
    7. Semyonova (RUS) 54.900
    8. Dufournet (FRA) 54.375
    9. Morel (FRA) 54.200
    10. Bui (GER) 54.175

    Vault
    1. Kayla Williams (USA) 14.812
    2. Hong Un Jong (PRK) – 14.787
    3. Ekaterina Kurbatova (RUS) 14.225
    4. Youna Dufournet (FRA) – 14.212
    5. Brittany Rogers (CAN) – 13.975
    6. Marissa King (GBR) – 13.850
    7. Jana Komrskova (CZE) – 13.812
    8. Valeri Maksiuta (ISR) 13.675

    Bars
    1. He Kexin (CHN) – 15.975
    2. Cha Yong Hwa (PRK) – 15.025
    3. Koko Tsurumi (JPN) – 14.775
    4. Larrissa Miller (AUS) 14.650
    5. Bridget Sloan (USA) – 14.600
    6. Ana Porgras (ROU) – 14.475
    7. Ekaterina Kurbatova (RUS) – 14.200
    7. Serena Licchetta (ITA) – 14.200

    Beam
    1. Ana Porgras (ROU) – 14.850
    2. Kim Un Hyang (PRK) – 14.775
    3. Deng Linlin (CHN) – 14.450
    4. Ivana Hong (USA) 14.400
    5. Koko Tsurumi (JPN) – 14.375
    5. Yang Yilin (CHN) 14.375
    7. Elisabetta Preziosa (ITA) – 14.275
    8. Ksenia Semenova (RUS) – 14.075

    Floor
    1. Sui Lu (CHN) – 14.275
    2. Ana Porgras (ROU) – 14.175
    3. Beth Tweddle (UK) – 14.075
    4. Deng Linlin (CHN) 14.00
    5. Kayla Williams (USA) 13.900
    6. Youna Dufournet (FRA) – 13.625
    7. Bridget Sloan (USA) – 13.600
    8. Ekaterina Kurbatova (RUS) 13.475

    Leave a comment

    Filed under Uncategorized

    Live From Podium Training!

    I can barely wait competition to begin!

    Click here to receive live updates from Podium Training.  Finally some news on the Chinese Team!

    Looks like Yang Yilin cannot be counted out!  Sui Lu looking pretty good.  Bridget Sloan looking good, no news on Rebecca Bross. He Kexin‘s bars look great!  No surprise!  And Beth Tweddle may be doing  a double double bars dismount?

    Who will be the big surprise this year?

    PLEASE DO THE FRONT TRIPLE BRIDGET!

    Leave a comment

    Filed under Uncategorized

    2008 Olympics: Event Finals Plus a Few Rants

    Okay. So I thought I wasn’t “going to go there,” but I am. I am truly disgusted.

    As some of you may have read, I long ago called that the age controversy was going to be the scandal of the Games. It was. I also stated that I REFUSED to let that spoil the Olympics, something that I would be damned to let ruin the excitement of this long awaited event. In fact, I have been a little sad because with the Olympics ending soon, I feel like a small child who waited all year for their birthday or Christmas and is so sad when the wait finally ends! (hahahaha, yes I am a dork). But I did a good job, I have not let the age scandal affect me at all.

    But never did I think the attitudes of the Americans would end up as the thing I want to forget these Olympic Games.

    I was extremely dismayed after the Women’s Team Final. Marta Karolyi‘s comments to the press infuriated me. Complaining about Alicia Sacramone‘s long wait on the podium for beam. Blaming everything in her path. Funny, she didn’t blame the fact that USA basically competed with half a team. And uhhhh, whose fault is that Marta? The hardcore fans have been complaining for months about the insanely demanding selection process, which injured many people in it’s path, keeping key athletes off the team entirely, not to mention during the actual Olympics. But Marta doesn’t want to say that. Regardless of the age scandal or anything else, take a lesson from Shawn Johnson; just be happy with what you did do. Accept defeat, be happy that you gave it your all. It’s amazing enough to be able to call yourself an Olympian, and even better to say you are a medalist.

    Then we have these constant interviews with Bela Karolyi in which he does the same complaining.

    Funny that no one seems to admit where we did get gifted scores? Tim Daggett pointed out that during the All-Around, Nastia Liukin was credited for a connection on beam she shouldn’t have received, and how Shawn’s vault was extremely questionable and probably shouldn’t have received credit. But uhhhh, you didn’t hear the Karolyis mention that one.

    Again readers, keep in mind that I am not here to dispute any results. At all. Even if I should be. The entire point of this post is to demonstrate the ugly attitude here, and how BAD it is making the Americans look. That is not what I want our athletes to remember 20 years from now. I want Shawn to remember how consistent she performed, how she medalled on every event she entered (couting my eggs too soon here, don’t know about beam yet). Nastia should remember that she has the most coveted title in the world for gymnasts.

    But last night’s uneven bar final did it for me. The shock, the fuss, the obvious disappointment over the tie break.

    NEWS FLASH!!!! The tie breaker is a known process. Funny last night night we didn’t see France’s Thomas Bouhail toss a fit because the same tie-breaking procedure gave him the silver and Leszek Blanik the gold. Funny that four years ago, when Marian Dragulescu lost the gold to Kyle Shewfelt, we saw nothing but grace. We saw people happy for their results, and even better than that, to be happy for someone else.

    I have never complained about Marta, Nastia, or Valeri Liukin. But I am now. Because I could seriously vomit. I am NOT DISPUTING THE RESULTS, I AM NOT SAYING THAT LIUKIN SHOULD OR SHOULD NOT HAVE WON.

    But what a way to remember the uneven bar final, which was the event final I was most excited about as I thought it contained within it the biggest showdown (next to the AA of course!).

    Nastia, Marta, and Valeri stood to the side going over stuff and being disappointed over the “loss.” I yelled out loud when Valeri was still going over it with Marta. Uhh, Valeri? Your daughter is standing on the Olympic Podium being awarded, maybe you should, I don’t know, WATCH HER INSTEAD OF POUT?

    This tie-breaking procedure maybe new to WAG, but it is certainly not new. And when I know myself (a person not involved with the sport directly) that this Olympics the tie-breakers would be in place here, why do these people act surprised? Because they are pissed they don’t have another gold. Yes, you know what? That would suck, I would be disappointed if it were me too. But that public display of children whining was horrible.

    Marta, why didn’t you whine when Shawn and Nastia tied beam scores in prelims? Oh, because that tie was okay, right? It didn’t affect medal placements, so I guess that made it okay? Nastia and Valeri, what about you guys? You didn’t wonder about the tie-breaker then? If I understand what they do when A and B scores are tied, I cannot imagine how they wouldn’t know.

    Before everyone starts commenting on how it was unfair because He Kexin is too young, or two gold medals should be awarded, please be reminded that again, I am not posting to comment on that situation. Do I think the Chinese have gotten overscored on several events? YES. Do I think if there is a tie, two gold medals should be awarded? Yes. But again, that is not my point.

    I am just disgusted with a lot of the attitudes going on right now.

    And before everyone starts saying how this ISN’T whining. Please remember the Paul Hamm and Yang Tae Young controversy in Athens. You didn’t see the Americans complaining then. Because the mistake ended up in our favor.

    Some of the scoring and scandals going on in these Games SUCK. But when so many other countries despise us, way to do it again USA. I don’t see every other country on the floor complaining.

    I am truly embarrassed.

    On another note, Marian stuck his vault again! Then fell on the next. I cried. I was also sad for Jordan Jotchev. Sigh. I wish Jordan didn’t exit the arena.

    Please do well in the high bar final, Fabian Hambuchen. Please. I also hope Jonathon Horton has the routine of a lifetime, both of these athletes deserve it.

    41 Comments

    Filed under Uncategorized

    2008 : Thoughts on Qualifications

    Ok, so keep in mind that all I have seen is what NBC aired on TV. I am pretty sure that NBCOLYMPICS.COM has more to view. But I looked online at the results and that plus what I saw here is the random things flying through my brain: (keep iin mind, I am writing this on a few glasses of wine, this could be out there. And again, my disclaimer: I mean no disrespect to any individual athletes, this is purely my own opinion).

    • Nastia Liukin on floor ahead of Alicia Sacramone already shocked me, Nastia qualifying into event finals???? I am not knocking her, I just think that is crazy. Alicia landing OOB didn’t exactly shock me but DAMN! Bridget Sloan did well on floor. I was proud. The Samantha Peszek injury shocked me.
    • What was up with Nastia scoring the same as Shawn Johnson on beam? I have major beef with this, but maybe I am wrong: Nastia broke her connection of the Onodi-wolf full in her routine. What is the connection loss for that? because she still got a 6.6 A-score!!! That should not be right unless the loss of connection was only .1 because I know she usually loses one tenth for her Liukin-Nistor whatever move, and in my opinion, that was done solid. The whole routine was solid with the exception of that connection. Meanwhile Shawn was near flawless on her routine… how did she get the samw score? Shawn should have been given the 7.0 on beam. Did the full turn get devalued? Because it was awesome I thought. I am angry about this. Her routine was the best I have ever seen! She was flawless minus the landing which was almost stuck! I would have given Shawn a 7.0 plus a B-score of 9.5 which makes a 16.500. Kind of high actually. At least over a 16 though!!!! Which brings me to my next thought!
    • What did everyonne think of scoring? Sometimes I thought it was too tight, sometimes I thought too lenient! Bars scoring was tight, Jiang Yuyuan I thought might have been a little low on bars. I don’t know. I can’t thnk.
    • He Kexin falling on bars was insane. Well, don’t put 14 year-olds in the Olympics! But I was sad for her, as I haven’t seen her miss a routine yet. But she did make EF, too bad she has to go up first for that.
    • On that note…SHOCKING that Nastia fell on her dismount! I know that dismount has been her nemisis, but Nastia has looked GREAT, and during podium training I was amazed because she looked sooooooo much better on that! She will get 1st or 2nd though on that event. She does deserve it.
    • Chellsie Memmel‘s fall almost made me cry. i can’t even comment further on this.
    • Shawn’s score on floor made me sad. Not the judging though. Why the 6.3? What is the loss of her not doing the Rudi? Did she not get credited for the Popa 1.5 jump? I don’t think the mistake on the Rudi was an actual mistake; I think she did that purposely. I am pissed that she wil got up 1st in EF.
    • On that note, Shawn was only like 3 tenths ahead of Nastia in qualifying. That worries the hell outta me. If Shawn repeats and Nastia doesn’t fall, she will win. That will devastate me.
    • What the hell happend to Dasha Joura?????????????? She qualified for NOTHING! Her 12-something beam score tells me she fell like 3 or 4 times! I am so sad for her!
    • Yaaaaaaaaay for Anna Pavlova! Qualifying 5th into the AA and also making VT, BB, and FX finals? AWESOME! GO GIRL!
    • What is going on with Vanessa Ferrari? I don’t even know. Qualifying 21st into AA is sad. I feel bad for her.
    • DAIANE DOS SANTOS MADE FLOOR FINALS!!!!!!! YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!
    • Cheng Fei is EFFING BADASS! 3 event finals for her!
    • Beth Tweddle must have fallen off bars with a 8.0-something B-score.
    • Regardless of how crappy prelims may have been for the USA, team finals is going to be crazy! Can’t wait! calculate bars A-scores and can’t figure out what is different. Please, anyone who knows please explain this to me!
    • EDIT-One more important thing: Does anyone know WHY Shawn was given a 6.3 instead of 6.4 on bars? I can’t

    Okay, I need to go watch more stuff on NBC’s website. I may have missed some random thoughts. I got 3 or 4 phone calls from people who also watched, calling me “to see if I was okay”. Hahahahahaha. How much of a gymnastics nerd am I???

    Yay for the Olympics even though I am seriously concerned!

    15 Comments

    Filed under Uncategorized

    Response to He Kexin Age Falsification Claims

    First off, 8 days left!!!  I am writing this post due to the comments being written over my last post about He Kexin and the Age Controversy.

    Please take all of this message in a friendly tone, because that is exactly how I am trying to write it….

    I will give you my updated opinion here, and please no one take it personal.

    -First off, I agree that cheating is wrong.  But I am a firm believer that NOTHING is black and white, to me it is all gray, and I try to always think of the opposite perspective.  In that light, I don’t think doping and age falsification are one the exact same plane.  Whether or not He Kexin is of the correct age, she can perform her brilliant routine without drugs, and to me, that is different than someone who can only be the best at their sport with the aid of some substance to improve their skill.

    -Secondly, I have no official clear opinion of what I think of this because I do not agree with the age rule in the first place as I believe the best in the world have the right to compete with the best in the world.  Now I know the many thoughts that people take with the age rule, but in this day and age I don’t think one can excel in this sport without being able to deal with the pressure.  For example, Sui Lu I thought would SO be on the Chinese Team but poor performances (unable to deal with the pressure) kept her off that spot whereas He Kexin I haven’t seen fumble.  (Of course, we will see what happens in less than two weeks yaaaay!).  So I am completely in limbo, because I think it is wrong to cheat but I don;t agree with the established rule.

    -Next, although I post all these articles I do so because it is in the news, and I called this one last year.  I am so afraid of scandals ruining the Olympics.   Regardless of how much evidence seems to be out there at this point, we must remember that yes, the American Media is not something we should buy into all the time.  (I am not saying that this means it is all untrue).  I don’t believe everything I read.  I admit I think that there is evidence that really points to guilty, but since I can’t speak intelligently on the Chinese Media and how their system works, I can’t say for sure all of this stuff is true.

    -One thing I would like everyone’s opinion on is this….  I originally thought that we (Americans) were blowing this out of proportion because of the strength of the Chinese Team and whatnot.  But you know what I think now?  I think technology has the largest hand in all of this.  Think about youtube.  This is the first Olympic quadrennium in which we have had youtube, which enables us to be in touch with EVERY meet that went on.  Without it, we wouldn’t have had any real visualization of what He Kexin looked like (pictures are nothing compared to videos IMO) and since they don’t televise World Cups and China’s domestic meets, we wouldn’t have access to seeing her.  Also, blogs have blown up to be the new ‘news’ on the internet (much more popular than prior to 04′ right?  I’m not sure.)  At any rate, the internet allows more and more communication to develop as technology increases.

    To make a comparison I think about the invention of the cell phone.  50 years ago, you want to contact someone?  Write them a letter, make the occasional long distance phone call.  With the cell phone we can call anyone in the world, and be in contact as much as we want with someone who lives where ever far away, and that enables so much more drama in our lives….

    -Lastly,  I am so excited.  I refuse to let any of this take away from what I have been waiting four years to see!  I have ALWAYS loved the Chinese team, and this battle will be so intense.  I would love to see my home country win, but I would also love to see the Chinese win for the first time, and on their own turf, too.  I hope beyond hope that this will not ruin the Olympics Games, it would break my heart.

    16 Comments

    Filed under Uncategorized

    Another Article With Proof He Kexin is Underage

    Oh wow. This is getting crazy when publications like New York Times and USA Today take interest.  EDIT-  It is now on NBC’s site, as well as Yahoo.

    USA Today releases this article:

    Are Chinese gymnasts too young for Olympics?
    Posted 7h 17m ago | Comment | Recommend E-mail | Save | Print | Subscribe to stories like this
    BEIJING (AP) — Two female Chinese gymnasts, including a gold-medal favorite, might be too young to participate in the upcoming Beijing Olympics.

    Several online records and reports show He Kexin, the host nation’s top competitor on uneven bars, and Jiang Yuyuan might not yet be 16, the minimum age for Olympic eligibility. Both were chosen for China’s team last week.

    On the Web site of the Chengdu Sports Bureau – Chengdu is the capital of Sichuan province in southwest China – a file dated January 2006 shows He Kexin as being born Jan. 1, 1994.

    Most recently, a May 23 story in the China Daily newspaper, the official English-language paper of the Chinese government, had He’s age as 14.

    The newspaper story begins: “The 14-year old newcomer to the national team, who was recruited last year, has raised a lot of eyebrows recently after she broke two world records on the uneven bars in as many months.”

    The New York Times raised questions about the athletes’ ages in a story Saturday. And Chinese officials provided the newspaper with copies of passports indicating both gymnasts are 16.

    But in a speech on Nov. 3, 2007, in the central city of Wuhan, Liu Peng, director of general administration of sport for China, said: “The 13-year-old uneven-bar gymnast He Kexin, who defeated national team athlete Yang Yilin – she just won the bronze medal in the world championships – has demonstrated her ability.”

    To be eligible for the Cities Games where Liu made his remarks, Chinese documents show athletes must be over 13, but under 15.

    The New York Times reported International Gymnastics Federation officials acknowledged questions about He’s age had been raised and asked the Chinese for clarification in May.

    “We heard these rumors, and we immediately wrote to the Chinese gymnastics federation,” Andre Gueisbuhler, the secretary general of the international federation, told the newspaper. “They immediately sent a copy of the passport, showing the age, and everything is OK. That’s all we can check.

    “As long as we have no official complaint, there is no reason to act, if we get a passport that obviously is in order.”

    The American and Chinese women are expected to battle for the team gold medal when the Beijing Games begin Aug. 8.

    He is one of the few athletes in the world who has scored over a 17 under the new scoring system. Using He and Yang Yilin, who also has scored a 17 on bars, the Chinese hope to use the uneven bars to build up a big advantage in the team competition.

    The Americans, who won the 2007 world championships team title, have only one gymnast, Nastia Liukin, who’s gotten a 17 on bars.

    If gymnasts He, a gold-medal favorite, and Jiang are under age, it would be yet another black eye for China in the buildup to the games.

    In June, Chinese swimmer Ouyang Kunpeng and coach Feng Shangbao were permanently banned from the sport after Ouyang tested positive for anabolic steroids. Wrestler Luo Meng and his coach also were barred for life for a doping violation by the athlete.

    The Chinese government is working feverishly to present a positive image of an open, friendly, progressive nation. But visa restrictions, toxic air pollution, freedom of the press issues and a problem-filled torch relay have presented a far different image to the world.
    The Associated Press

    53 Comments

    Filed under Uncategorized

    Age Falsification Debate Gets Crazier!

    The New York Times released this article. This is the most information received thus far about the Chinese Age Debate. Very interesting stuff, check it out….

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/27/sp…in&oref=slogin

    Issues of Age Seem to Follow Chinese Gymnasts

    By JERÉ LONGMAN and JULIET MACUR
    Published: July 27, 2008
    China named its Olympic women’s gymnastics team on Friday, and the inclusion of at least two athletes has further raised questions, widespread in the sport, about whether the host nation for the Beijing Games is using under-age performers.

    Chinese officials responded immediately, providing The New York Times with copies of passports indicating that both athletes in question — He Kexin, a gold-medal favorite in the uneven parallel bars, and Jiang Yuyuan — are 16, the minimum age for Olympic eligibility.

    Officials with the International Gymnastics Federation said that questions about He’s age had been raised by Chinese news media reports, USA Gymnastics and fans of the sport, but that Chinese authorities presented passport information to show that He is 16.

    Online records listing Chinese gymnasts and their ages that were posted on official Web sites in China, along with ages given in the official Chinese news media, however, seem to contradict the passport information, indicating that He and Jiang may be as young as 14 — two years below the Olympic limit.

    Mary Lou Retton, the Olympic all-around gymnastics champion at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, recently watched a competition video of He and other Chinese gymnasts on the uneven bars.

    “The girls are so little, so young,” Retton said. Speaking of He, Retton rolled her eyes and laughed, saying, “They said she was 16, but I don’t know.”

    An advantage for younger gymnasts is that they are lighter and, often, more fearless when they perform difficult maneuvers, said Nellie Kim, a five-time Olympic gold medalist for the former Soviet Union who is now the president of the women’s technical committee for the Swiss-based International Gymnastics Federation.

    “It’s easier to do tricks,” Kim said. “And psychologically, I think they worry less.”

    The women’s gymnastics competition at the Beijing Games, which begin Aug. 8, is expected to be a dramatic battle for the team gold medal between the United States and China. At the 2007 world championships, the Americans prevailed by 95-hundredths of a point.

    On the uneven bars, He and Nastia Liukin of the United States are expected to challenge for an individual gold medal.

    In Chinese newspaper profiles this year, He was listed as 14, too young for the Beijing Games.

    The Times found two online records of official registration lists of Chinese gymnasts that list He’s birthday as Jan. 1, 1994, which would make her 14. A 2007 national registry of Chinese gymnasts — now blocked in China but viewable through Google cache — shows He’s age as “1994.1.1.”

    Another registration list that is unblocked, dated Jan. 27, 2006, and regarding an “intercity” competition in Chengdu, China, also lists He’s birthday as Jan. 1, 1994. That date differs by two years from the birth date of Jan. 1, 1992, listed on He’s passport, which was issued Feb. 14, 2008.

    There has been considerable talk about the ages of Chinese gymnasts on Web sites devoted to the sport. And there has been frequent editing of He’s Wikipedia entry, although it could not be determined by whom. One paragraph that discusses the controversy of her age kept disappearing and reappearing on He’s entry. As of Friday, a different version of the paragraph had been restored to the page.

    The other gymnast, Jiang, is listed on her passport — issued March 2, 2006 — as having been born on Nov. 1, 1991, which would make her 17 in November and thus eligible to compete at the Beijing Games.

    A different birth date, indicating Jiang is not yet 15, appears on a list of junior competitors from the Zhejiang Province sports administration. The list of athletes includes national identification card numbers into which birth dates are embedded. Jiang’s national card number as it appears on this list shows her birth date as Oct. 1, 1993, which indicates that she will turn 15 in the fall, and would thus be ineligible to compete in the Beijing Games.

    Zhang Hongliang, an official with the Chinese gymnastics federation, said Friday that perhaps Chinese reporters and provincial sports authorities made mistakes in listing He’s and Jiang’s birth dates differently from the dates given on their passports.

    “The two athletes have attended international sports competitions before, and I’m sure the information is correct,” Zhang said of the athletes’ passports.

    The International Gymnastics Federation said it had contacted Chinese officials in May about the gymnasts’ ages after receiving inquiries from fans and reading newspaper accounts, including one in The China Daily, the country’s official English-language paper, stating that He was 14.

    “We heard these rumors, and we immediately wrote to the Chinese gymnastics federation” about He, said André Gueisbuhler, the secretary general of the international federation. “They immediately sent a copy of the passport, showing the age, and everything is O.K. That’s all we can check.”

    If someone provided proof that any gymnast was under age, or filed a formal complaint, Gueisbuhler said, he would be “quite happy to check and ask again.”

    “As long as we have no official complaint, there is no reason to act, if we get a passport that obviously is in order,” he said.

    Steve Penny, the president of USA Gymnastics, said he had asked Kim of the international federation about He’s age after receiving e-mail messages referring to newspaper accounts and comments made on blogs and in Internet chat rooms that said she was 14. But Penny said he was not really concerned.

    “If they have valid passports, bring ’em on,” Penny said. “If they say they’re good, we’re going to beat them.

    “You can’t worry about it. You do your job, and you expect other people are doing theirs and you expect it’s a fair field of play.”

    Privately, some gymnastics officials said that even if other countries had real concerns about the Chinese, they might be reluctant to make accusations for fear of reprisals by judges at the Beijing Games.

    If it is true that under-age gymnasts are competing, Kim of the international federation said: “It’s a bad thing. It should not be acceptable.”

    Yang Yun of China won individual and team bronze medals at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and later said in an interview on state-run television that she had been 14 at the time of those Games. A Hunan Province sports administration report also said later that she had been 14 when she competed in Sydney.

    Bela Karolyi, who coached Retton of the United States and Nadia Comaneci of Romania to their Olympic gold-medal triumphs, said the problem of under-age gymnasts had been around for years. Age is an easy thing to alter in an authoritarian country, he said, because the government has such strict control of official paperwork.

    He recalled Kim Gwang Suk, a North Korean gymnast who showed up at the 1991 world championships with two missing front teeth. Karolyi, who said he thought Kim must have been younger than 11 at the time, and others contended those front teeth had been baby teeth and that permanent teeth had not yet replaced them. Her coaches said she had lost them years before, during a small accident in the gym.

    At the 1992 Summer Games in Barcelona, Kim was 4 feet 4 inches, about 65 pounds and claimed to be 17. At one point, the North Korean Gymnastics Federation listed her at 15 for three straight years; the federation was later barred from the 1993 world championships for falsifying ages.

    “Oh, come on, she was just in diapers and everyone could see that, just like some of the Chinese girls are now,” Karolyi said. “If you look close, you can see they still have their baby teeth. Little tiny teeth!”

    But it is not likely that anyone could prove that the Chinese gymnasts are under age, Karolyi said.

    “It’s literally impossible,” he said. “The paperwork is changed just too good. In a country like that, they’re experts at it. Nothing new.”

    So what do you guys think?  Pretty interesting huh?  I keep saying this, but I must again: IF IT IS DETERMINED DURING THE OLYMPICS THAT THERE ARE UNDERAGE GYMNASTS AND MEDALS GET STRIPPED I MAY LOSE ALL MY FAITH IN HUMANITY.

    9 Comments

    Filed under Uncategorized

    Updated thoughts on Event Finals

    So now that we are only two weeks from the start of the Olympic Games, I thought I would update what and who of the Event Finals.  After all, we know who is competing minus two spots on the Russian Team which will be announced shortly.  Remember guys, this is just my opinion!

    So here is my post from my previous predictions and I will also look at how my viewpoint now varies.

    Vault-

    The Finalists-  Cheng Fei, Hong Su Jong, and Alicia Sacramone will be finalists.  Period.  There is no way I see them unable to qualify.  I also still think that Cheng and Hong can qualify even if they count a fall (assuming they both do the 6.5 A-score vaults).

    Rounding out the other five spots I think will be Oksana Chusovitina and Jade Barbosa, both are very good vaulters, the same which I thought before.  Who else is doing well on the vaulting scene?  I am thinking at least one Russian will be in there, and I think Anna Pavlova is the front runner on that side.  They may even nab another spot, a couple girls featured on gymnast.com have some exceptional DTY’s.

    Differences from previous post- Elena Zamolodchikova isn’t going, so she won’t qualify.  Pretty much is the same.  Also, I think an Italian may possibly sneak in there, I have been hearing Amanar rumors about (I think) Carlotta Giovanni.

    Guesstimate on the Medalists- Cheng, Hong, Sacramone. (No specific order)

    Uneven Bars-

    The Finalists- Without a doubt I think Nastia Liukin, He Kexin, and Yang Yilin will qualify.  I also think that Beth Tweddle, Ksenia Semenova, and (probably) Steliana Nistor will find themselves in there.

    That leaves two spots left.  I think Marie Sophie Hindermann and Chellsie Memmel will do it.  The British have been getting a lot better on bars so maybe they will change this.  Who knows.

    Differences from previous post- Seems I replaced Memmel for the thought of Daria Zygoba.

    Guesstimate on the medalists– He, Yilin, Liukin.  (No specific order)

    Beam-

    Finalists- Without a doubt I think Shawn Johnson and Li Shanshan will make finals.  Rounding out the other six spots I think there will be one more American, two Russians, two Romanians, and probably another Chinese.  Although I would normally put Nastia in there automatically, I am not so sure anymore.  Memmel and Sacramone are capable of scoring higher due to higher A-scores, but we will have to see because I don’t think they can match the execution scores of Liukin.  I also can’t speak about how scoring will ride in Beijing because it always seems to vary.  The last World Championships seem to favor difficulty, but I have a feeling execution may be weighed a bit more.  Two Russians in the spot are between Pavolva, Semenova, and also Lyudmilla Yezhova  Grebenkova (if she is selected onto the team).    Steliana Nistor and Sandra Izbasa have room to sneak in there.   For the last Chinese member I would say Deng Linlin or maybe Cheng Fei.  I think there is room for Australia’s Lauren Mitchell to come in there and bump someone out of this lineup.

    Differences from previous postYulia Lozechko and Sui Lu are not on the teams, so aren’t qualifying.  And orginally I didn’t factor in Pavlova.  I also mentioned Stefani Bismpkou whom I now don’t think will qualify but would LOVE to see qualify.  Mitchell wasn’t in my orginal post either.

    Guesstimate on the medalists- Johnson, Li, 2nd American (No specific order)

    Floor-

    Finalists- Shawn Johnson, Cheng Fei, and Sandra Izbasa  WILL be in this floor final.   I don’t have Sacramone in there because at this point I think it is questionable that she will even make it!  It is quite possible (if all the upgrades do make that 6.5 or 6.4) for Memmel to bump her off the line here.  Now, if Sacramone upgrades (I hear her score will be at least a 6.4) then with clean routines I think Sacramone will be the one with the higher execution scores.  Regardless, one more American besides Johnson will advance to finals.  So there is half the lineup.  Others who have a shot at this final in my opinion are Daiane Dos Santos, Anna Pavlova, Dasha Joura, Beth Tweddle, Jiang Yuyuan, or even Yang Yilin.  I can’t think of anyone else, I hear Cassy Vericel is still limping around.  I don’t think Vanessa Ferrari will make it due to her foot making her A-score lower.  Out of those mentioned above, I would like to see the last four spots got to Dos Santos, Pavlova, and Joura.  I didn’t pick a last person.  I am not sure.  And I keep thinking I am missing someone key.

    Differences from previous post–  Not much.  Sui Lu was mentioned as a possibility and that’s not happening.

    Guesstimate on the Medalists- Cheng, Johnson, Izbasa.  (No specific order.  Note:  How happy I would be if Dos Santos won.)

    Without a doubt it is going to be a blast.  I can’t decide which EF I am most excited about.  Here is what I am generally looking forward to most in each event:

    Vault-  Cheng Fei.  Hands down.  I want Olympic Glory for her.  Sacramone doing her absolute best, and of course the anticipation of her Amanar.  Chusovitina competing her last moments in her final Olympics.

    Uneven Bars-  The race between the 7.7 A-score Club.  Without a doubt.  And because I am really thinking Memmel will be in the lineup, another lovely Memmel moment.

    Beam-  Shawn Johnson competing.  Beam is also my favorite event usually.  It’s the event with the most adrenaline for me to watch as it is the make or break event.  I really want Shawn to win gold here.

    Floor-  Cheng and Johnson again make this for me.  But the list of competitors that I have the potential to see makes it quite thrilling.  Remember, I am one of those who loves the sentimental favorites.

    I can’t believe it all starts in just two weeks.  By the way, I have no idea what the text did to itself in this post.

    13 Comments

    Filed under Uncategorized