Chinese athletes faking their real age? Surely not!!

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Over on BBC news:

Bone tests on teenage athletes in south China have shown that thousands had faked their age, often in order to keep competing in junior events.

Tests on nearly 13,000 athletes found that more than 3,000 were older than their registered age, according to the Sports Bureau of Guangdong Province.

Now this – this cracks me up. There’s no mention of them re-testing the Chinese “Women’s” Olympic Gymnast team as they supposedly all passed DNA tests declaring them over 16 years of age.

While in China we saw extensive coverage of the Chinese teams performing – particularly the star performers such as the “Women’s” gymnasts – and i use the term “Women’s” loosely. I don’t care what kind of tests they have done – in my opinion there’s no chance in hell those girls are 16 or over – they look (and are probably) around 12, if even that. It’s an age-old debate in the gymnast world as being younger gives distinct advantages against older competitors.

So it comes as no surprise that hundreds have been busted faking their ages, however in China, age is also a bit of a dark spot. A year or two is what I would suspect as the norm. One of the athletes was reported to have been a good seven years younger than what was documented.
In China, Chinese New Years is effectively everyone’s birthday. If you are born in January, then Chinese New Year is February, you’re suddenly 2 years old (In Australia you’re not 1 until a year after your date of birth – In China you are born 1 years old.)

While we were teaching, we were told the students were 16/17 years old, but then found out that some of them could in reality(or how we base it in Australia) be 14/15.  So who can really say. While I think there are cases of blatant age cheats(aka the gymnast team), i think it’s one of those issues that’s always going to be difficult to completely get on top for us western outsiders.

16 or 12? Only Buddha knows.

16 or 12? Only Buddha knows the real answer.

What do you think?

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