poisonwood's Diaryland Diary

Date: Aug. 13, 2008 . Time: 8:27 a.m.

Canadian broadcast Entry:


Canadian broadcast

The hub-hub over the Chinese ages sounds like a lot of sour grapes. I'm not surprised that they'd send underage gymnasts - this is China! Winning is everything. They probably think it's a stupid rule, and they probably weren't well represented on the committee that made it. I have thought it was a stupid rule since it's inception.

In any case, Chinese people tend to be smaller than Americans, so it's not shocking that their gymnasts are two. in fact, American gymnasts tend to be the biggest. I've been watching gymnastics for a long time, and Russian and Romanian gymnasts tend to be thin and willowy, and Chinese gymnasts just small. It's not surprising; they say the Chinese gymnasts are selected at the age of 3; of course they're picked for petiteness, similarly with the Russians and Romanians. Americans haven't been held back in past by being bigger - they're more muscular, as they were in '96 when they won the gold.

Anyway, I wonder what the point of the age 16 rule is. A gymnast tends to come into top form at about age 16 - some 15, some 17. If a gymnast is 15 in an Olympic year, by the time the next Olympics rolls around, she'll be 19. She'll have either maneuvered her 19 years old body into behaving like a much younger body, or developed muscles to compensate, or fallen by the wayside. There's too much luck in being born at the right time. In addition, a gymnast who turns 16 in an Olympics year is sorely limited in international experience due to this rule. People in the US - and the NY Times - are getting all upset because the best gymnasts in the world were allowed to compete! How absurd is that?

I enjoyed watching the gymnastics last night, though I would really have enjoyed seeing more from the Romanians and the Russians. I watched the 2nd two rotations on CBC after I got home from work. Then I watched the first 2 rotations on NBC, "live" (ha) and was able to get to bed at a much more reasonable hour. I was also able to see the swimming events on CBC hours earlier than they showed up "live" on NBC. It was great. While NBC was showing synchronized diving (a trumped up sport if I ever saw one) and beach volleyball (which I'm just not into) I got to watch gymnastics and swimming on CBC.

8:27 a.m. - Aug. 13, 2008


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