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Summer Olympics 2008
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Natalie



Joined: 25 Mar 2007
Posts: 1693

PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LeeB. wrote:
Sandlynn wrote:
The summer Olympics are being held in London, U.K. next time, and on the message board I read dominated by British posters, the people are already making all kinds of jokes about how the British won't be able to out do the Chinese so they should just take a giant foot -- from Monty Python fame -- and squash the stadium.

Too funny! Laughing


You could certainly invite the Chinese to perform those dances with hundreds of people involved Smile
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Yulie



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1150
Location: Elsewhere

PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The summer Olympics are being held in London, U.K. next time, and on the message board I read dominated by British posters, the people are already making all kinds of jokes about how the British won't be able to out do the Chinese so they should just take a giant foot -- from Monty Python fame -- and squash the stadium.

No, they just need to have Prince William light the Olympic flame (I think you need to have a past Olympian on hand for that, I'm sure they can find someone) and then get the Beatles to perform. Yes, I realize there are only two left, but as Tim Gunn would say, make it work. And I vote for Derek Redmond to be invited - remember him, the guy who was hurt midway through the 400 in Barcelona and his dad helped him finish the race? That's a great example of what the Olympics should be about, though I could have done without the commercial featuring it. Let him run the full lap before handing the torch over - that would be nice and symbolic.

Personally, I think the attempt to outdo the previous ceremonies each time out has reached ridiculous levels. Just get some good music, decent dance numbers along with atheletes in funny outfits (was that Ghengis Khan carrying Mongolia's flag this year?) and some fireworks and I'm good. In fact I prefer the somewhat more low-key Winter Olys ceremonies, not too mention the parade of athletes takes less than half as long.
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Sandlynn



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 1834
Location: Washington, D.C.

PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jebe wrote:
Am I the only one who's having a hard time believing those female Chinese gymnasts are/will be 16 this year? Shocked I swear one of them still has some of her baby teeth.


I read in the Washington Post today that at least five of the Chinese gymnasts weigh under 80 lbs! I wouldn't be surprised to find that at least a couple of them are under 16 years old, but even if they're not, they are certainly built like children and not young women.

Quote:
Personally, I think the attempt to outdo the previous ceremonies each time out has reached ridiculous levels. Just get some good music, decent dance numbers along with atheletes in funny outfits (was that Ghengis Khan carrying Mongolia's flag this year?) and some fireworks and I'm good. In fact I prefer the somewhat more low-key Winter Olys ceremonies, not too mention the parade of athletes takes less than half as long.


They spent an outlandish amount of money on the ceremony. I think hundreds of millions of dollars, so anyone else would be foolish to compete with *that* as it's downright ridiculous.

I thought the weakest part of the opening ceremonies was the music.
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 6635
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jebe wrote:
Am I the only one who's having a hard time believing those female Chinese gymnasts are/will be 16 this year? Shocked I swear one of them still has some of her baby teeth.




Bela Karolyi has been quite vocal about the Chinese gymnasts (women) being underage. He made the statement that their passports show them as above 16 and there is no way to prove. I don't really understand his explanation as to why being younger is an advantage...he thinks the advantage is their lack of life experience and they see the Olympics as less stressful than someone older and more experienced. They do their routines in a more playful manner..sort of like children, which is what they are. As for their size, our women are small and in shape but the Chinese probably weigh 30+ pounds less. Our women look like Amazons in comparison.
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misty



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 230
Location: Texas

PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The explanation that I heard on the NBC commentary is that your body can only withstand so many repetitions at that intensity level before you start fading. Plus, like you said, the younger you are the less you dwell on the risks, so you're more confident and and less fearful.

I can barely watch women's gymnastics, too intense for me. They can do some amazing things with their bodies, but I just don't know if it's worth it considering how badly they can hurt themselves.
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Sandlynn



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
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Location: Washington, D.C.

PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is from the New York Times reporting on the issue of the Chinese gymnasts' ages:

Records Say Chinese Gymnasts May Be Underage
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misty



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The evidence seems rather damning to me, and it annoys me that the IOC just kind of looks the other way.
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can barely watch women's gymnastics, too intense for me. They can do some amazing things with their bodies, but I just don't know if it's worth it considering how badly they can hurt themselves.[/quote]



Sure, I agree with you, but that could be true for any sport. Baseball, football, soccer, hockey and even golf. Besides, these are well trained athletes and their bodies have been conditioned over the years, and that in itself will prevent some injuries. Also, you can bet that Phelps will have shoulder problems one day from all his swimming, but it seems to be worth it to these people to get to be some of the best athletes in the world, so I don't have a problem watching them ever. I marvel at their ability and often wonder....how can they do that? Training, training and more training.
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Yulie



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1150
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

misty wrote:
The explanation that I heard on the NBC commentary is that your body can only withstand so many repetitions at that intensity level before you start fading. Plus, like you said, the younger you are the less you dwell on the risks, so you're more confident and and less fearful.

This, I think, should be qualified. First, I'm fairly certain that the main problem is that once a girl hits puberty, not only does her body change, but more importantly for certain sports, her balance changes. I don't think it's a coincidence that for the most part, elite female gymnasts and figure skaters break through and generally compete as adolescents, and are often late bloomers at that, while the top men are mostly in their twenties. This is one reason I prefer to watch the men's events in both sports - I don't feel like I'm watching kids.

Also, I think when you're young you may not dwell as much on the risks, but if you make mistakes, there's a tendency to magnify them and freak out much more. If you're older, you can draw on your experience - something along the line of I've been through this before, I know I can do this.

As for the Chinese women's team, they look extremely young, but being from a different culture, I'm not sure I can judge their ages accurately.

misty wrote:
The evidence seems rather damning to me, and it annoys me that the IOC just kind of looks the other way.

The IOC looks the other way on anything and everything except "the scourge of doping". They are very consistent.

xina wrote:
Sure, I agree with you, but that could be true for any sport. Baseball, football, soccer, hockey and even golf. Besides, these are well trained athletes and their bodies have been conditioned over the years, and that in itself will prevent some injuries.

I agree - the stress world-class athletes put on their bodies is extremely risky in the long-term; think of how many football players are injured every year, and how many baseball pitchers eventually need ligament replacement (Tommy John) surgery. At least the best Olympic athletes and those playing in top professional leagues (e.g. MLB, NFL, English Premier League etc.) are in a situation where if a serious injury occurs, they'll still be provided for. Not so for many of the Olympic hopefuls training in obscurity, or for high school and even college athletes.
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JanceeSP



Joined: 26 Sep 2007
Posts: 27
Location: Oakland, CA

PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the Chinese team looks young, but that doesn't necessarily mean they aren't 16. There's only 1 girl that I think might really be younger. Even the 20-year-old veteran looks like she's 15!

I think genetics plays a part of it. I might be biased (I'm a 2nd generation Korean-American), but it seems that Asians tend to look younger than their true age. My brother and I were often mistaken for high-schoolers up until a few years ago (I'm 29 now). Of course, I was a late bloomer... And I think a lot of 16 year old girls in the US could pass for several years older than they are. Is it the clothes? Makeup? Or the growth hormones in the fast food burgers? :?

Another thing to consider is that these gymnasts are raised since the age of 3 or 4 to be a GYMNAST, so wouldn't that influence their diet and how their body develops? A typical US gymnast wouldn't have grown up with the same restrictions or lifestyle for as long as these Chinese girls have.

Just my thoughts. I feel a little disgusted by the comments by Bela Karolyi and his wife. The US could have won the gold medal if they had clean programs and maybe higher start values on their routines. I wish those two could be more gracious in their loss, and follow the excellent example of their own gymnasts.
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 6635
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JanceeSP wrote:
I think the Chinese team looks young, but that doesn't necessarily mean they aren't 16. There's only 1 girl that I think might really be younger. Even the 20-year-old veteran looks like she's 15!

I think genetics plays a part of it. I might be biased (I'm a 2nd generation Korean-American), but it seems that Asians tend to look younger than their true age. My brother and I were often mistaken for high-schoolers up until a few years ago (I'm 29 now). Of course, I was a late bloomer... And I think a lot of 16 year old girls in the US could pass for several years older than they are. Is it the clothes? Makeup? Or the growth hormones in the fast food burgers? :?

Another thing to consider is that these gymnasts are raised since the age of 3 or 4 to be a GYMNAST, so wouldn't that influence their diet and how their body develops? A typical US gymnast wouldn't have grown up with the same restrictions or lifestyle for as long as these Chinese girls have.

Just my thoughts. I feel a little disgusted by the comments by Bela Karolyi and his wife. The US could have won the gold medal if they had clean programs and maybe higher start values on their routines. I wish those two could be more gracious in their loss, and follow the excellent example of their own gymnasts.





No, I think the 20yr. old, looks like a 20 yr. old. However, you may have a point about the girls just naturally looking young. Although, I am not Asian, and I am small and was always thought to be very young even when I had a baby at 24. I remember a group of mothers on the playground asking if my toddler was mine (and I was 25+ at the time), then sort of mentally shaking their heads. But truly, the Chinese gymnasts look more than just young for their age...a couple looked like 12 yr. olds, and I might be wrong, but they really did. As for the US having a more clean progam, I don't know if that is fair. I think it was clean, but human beings get nervous and that is what killed it. 1/10 of a point really matters, and she did it twice...losing it for them in the end. Those are the breaks, and that what makes this competition exciting. I felt bad for them...sure, but they didn't deserve the gold, and they knew it.
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jebe



Joined: 24 Mar 2007
Posts: 823
Location: Jersey

PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

xina wrote:
No, I think the 20yr. old, looks like a 20 yr. old.


I agree totally. In fact, it was the times that she was standing next to her teammates that reinforced the age issue for me. As far as the American gymnasts go, they did not put forth a gold medal performance. They handled themselves very graciously considering that the playing field was not in their favor. Age most definitely is a serious factor in gymnastics and I speak as a former gymnast. When I was younger, I healed faster,
was more flexible and was more fearless. Being older helped me cope with the experience of pre-competition jitters, knowing my own limitations, etc. but the younger years were really my heyday.
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JanceeSP



Joined: 26 Sep 2007
Posts: 27
Location: Oakland, CA

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 1:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I am looking forward to watching Shawn Johnson tomorrow night, and I hope everything goes well for her. I really like her attitude. Plus I'm tickled by the fact that she's from West Des Moines, where I lived while going to grad school 2 years ago.

Do you think if one of the Chinese girls admitted, say 10 years from now, that they had been younger than 16 during these Olympics, they'd be stripped of the gold medal? Like with the doping scandals?
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misty



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 230
Location: Texas

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my opinion, I don't really think there is any doubt that China is cheating. One of their gymnasts that competed at an earlier Olympics admitted on Chinese television to being underage at the time of her competition when she was supposedly 16.

I just don't understand why they would be willing to tarnish their reputation when there was already so much controversy over them even hosting. I feel sorry for the Chinese girls because they absolutely did better than the U.S. girls, and it isn't their fault that there has been such a fallout over their ages. The scandal is overshadowing their win, which they deserved and worked hard for.

I read that there are some talented U.S. 15 year olds that weren't eligible due to their birthdays falling a couple months short, and that is why Bela Karolyi is so upset. First off, way to support our current team. These people have no class, and should be barred from coaching anyone. They just sound bitter and ugly, especially considering some of the scandals in their past. However, maybe the rules should be lowered to 14 because by the time the next Olympics start the current 15 year olds will be 19, which seems to be considered past the peak for gymnasts. It seems a shame to miss your chance at competing due to your age.
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Yulie



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

misty wrote:
I read that there are some talented U.S. 15 year olds that weren't eligible due to their birthdays falling a couple months short, and that is why Bela Karolyi is so upset. First off, way to support our current team. These people have no class, and should be barred from coaching anyone. They just sound bitter and ugly, especially considering some of the scandals in their past. However, maybe the rules should be lowered to 14 because by the time the next Olympics start the current 15 year olds will be 19, which seems to be considered past the peak for gymnasts. It seems a shame to miss your chance at competing due to your age.

Just because people are breaking the rules doesn't necessarily mean the rules need to be changed. It means they need to be better enforced - assuming, of course, that they are good rules. I think the age limit should stand, and agree that Bela Karolyi needs to stop complaining. The American women didn't win gold because they made mistakes - and those mistakes seemed mental, not age-related or because their bodies were not as small.

As for 19 years old being too old for gymnastics, I don't think that's true. I looked it up (on Wikipedia, but still):
Yelena Shushonova, winner of the all-around in 1988, was 19.
Simona Amānar, winner in the team all-around in 2000, was 20 (the individual event that year is too confusing with technical problems and doping bans, but she's currently credited as the gold medalist in that, too).
Svetlana Khorkina won three medals, including a gold, in Sydney - aged 21; and two bronzes at the age of 25 in Athens.
Dominique Dawes was 19 when she won a team gold in Atlanta, and a bronze in the floor exercise.
Going a bit further back, though obviously the sport has changed since, Nellie Kim turned 19 while at the 1976 Olympics, where she won three gold medals. She was also a gold medalist four years later, in Moscow.

Of course, most of the female artistic gymnasts are indeed younger. But that doesn't mean you cannot succeed later on as well. I believe the ability to succeed in gymnastics past a certain age depends on body type, training and technique, and whether or not you are still committed enough to do the kind of work needed to keep up. This, by the way, seems true for figure skating, where many of the same points have also been brought up in recent years.

Personally, I don't want to see 14-year olds at the Olympics (that goes for that British kid who's a synchro diver, too). As a figure skating fan, I was really happy to see podiums filled with 20-something skaters at Torino - even in the ladies' event.
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