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China Cheats in Women's Gymnastics & Should Relinquish Gold To The Athlete Who Plays By The Rules

Original post made by Olympic Watcher, Old Palo Alto, on Aug 18, 2008

He Kexin tied with Nastia Liukin on the uneven bars.

But after careful thought by the judges, He was awarded the gold.

This girl is clearly underage. The PRC has lied about He's true age.

I think China should relinquish the gold to the winner.

If the winner was from Russia, Japan, or any other country, I would feel the same.

Cheating is cheating.

This has tarnished the image of China.

The communist government is so proud of themselves that they would lie in an athletic event. Now think about World Affairs...

Read more about the story here...

Web Link

Comments (26)

Posted by Olympic Watcher
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 18, 2008 at 9:34 pm

I can't imagine the two Chinese girls pictured on the right (He Kexin and Yang Yilin) driving a car.

Check out the photos and decide for yourself.

We have enough 16 year old China students in our community who have recently immigrated here to be able to tell.

Web Link

Posted by Boycott Beijing Olympics
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Aug 18, 2008 at 10:58 pm

what's new? Chinese officials and the Chinese government lie about EVERYTHING! Only, it's not perceived by the Chinese as lying; it's rather perceived as the way of getting one's way that has been honed over millenia. American's don't understand this, because we're too wrapped up in our own stupid cultural McHubris. There's a saying in China: "act now, and apologize later". Americans and Europeans are basically ignorant about the ways of China and the ways of Chinese power. Again, Chinese officials (including Olympic officials) and the Chinese government NEVER tell the whole truth. Chinese officials will look at you with a smile and a firm handshake, sign a document, declare a treaty, negotiate a contract, etc. etc. and then turn around and do exactly what they want, regardless of the agreement. There are powerful historical reasons for this kind of behavior, but the West doesn't understand them. As a result, we get screwed over, because we stupidly think everyone is like us. Americans and Europeans are, again, ignorant and increasingly naive in their conviction that the Chinese can or will eventually become "just like us". Keep dreaming.

Posted by Olympics
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 19, 2008 at 8:19 am

NBC reported yesterday that no Chinese judges were involved. Quit blaming the Chinese for the decisions of an international group of judges who made a mistake.

It's happened before and it will happen again. When you enter a sport that requires subjective judging, mistakes will be made, and the gymnasts themselves know this only too well.

Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 19, 2008 at 9:00 am

The "no Chinese judges involved" comment doesn't apply to previous published reports IN CHINA that would indicate certain Chinese female gymnasts are clearly underage for competing in the Olympics. THe Chinese mentality of winning at any cost is appalling. There is little backup to the contention that we (or the IOC) should "just trust" the Chinese official spokespersons at this point.

Posted by Agree
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 19, 2008 at 9:37 am

I am Chinese-American. Chinese often look younger than they are. But I agree that these girls cannot possibly be 16. China can easily produce knock-offs of designer clothes and purses. Faking documents would be even easier for them. This is disturbing to me because it is a bad reflection on all of us Chinese. Yes, there are "cheat-to-win" immigrants, but many of us are hardworking, honest people and this will propel a terrible stereotype.

I can only shake my head and hope that the Olympics will reverse the age rule since there is no physical test for age (and even if there were, China would find a way to get around it). Meanwhile, our American girls have gotten screwed and I feel bad for that.

Posted by Fair and Equal
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Aug 19, 2008 at 9:52 am

Did you think the ChiComs were going to play fair?

Cheating ChiComs crouching IOC.

Really what is new here?

The Chinese do not invent anything they steal it. Do you know that they stole all the design plans for the W88? What's a little piece of gold when you steal thermonuclear weapons of mass destruction. Real ones not those piccolo-peats that Iran is feebly attempting to make or the vapor ware ones that Saddam Hussein wished he had.

People put down that mocha latte and wake up.

A footnote to you sensitive Palo Alto liberals: These comments are about a government owned and operated by cheaters and liars. Not to Chinese people in general. Who are slaves to a government system created by dead liars and cheaters.

Posted by Boycott Beijing Olympics
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Aug 19, 2008 at 11:58 am

"THe Chinese mentality of winning at any cost is appalling."

This is a very naive statement. By our standards, the Chinese DO cheat. However, Chinese behavior in cases like this has rationale that can be explained by historical tradition, beginning with the lack of any tradition of civil law in China, ever, that deals with contract (or promised) behavior. By Chinese standards, this is not cheating. You need to study Chinese history, and social organization.

That said, it's important to call the Chinese on these behaviors, and *do something about it*, instead of whining. To date, we have been outflanked by the Chinese, who use out naivete ab out their culture to take advantage of us. We're the stupid ones.

Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 19, 2008 at 1:07 pm

There's a long history of questionable wins in gymnastics. Most of the time it's been to the benefit of the Soviets (yeah, way back then), though in Athens it was to the benefit of Paul Hamm. In order to avoid the old flagrant conflicts-of-interest, there's now a problem of incompetent judging--Alicia Sacramonte should have had the bronze over the gymnast who fell without completing her vault. I think the bronze winner got the medal not because she was Chinese, but because she'd been world champion several times.

I don't buy that a couple of those girls are 16. It's one thing not to have gone through adolescence, but a couple of them don't have much in the way of *pre-adolescence.* That they appeared suddenly on the international scene and regional rosters had them younger makes it shakey.

I'm less surprised by the win-at-any-cost cheating (Are we really expecting high ethical standards from an authoritarian government?) than I am by the willingness of China Daily to break the story. That's a positive sign in the right direction.

And three cheers for Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson for getting multiple medals--and Nastia dealing calmly with that goofy tie-breaker.

Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 19, 2008 at 1:38 pm

Two separate comments

I really think the sport of gymnastics would be better served if the women's competition raised the age to 20 or at least 18. To call these young girls women is silly. They are still children in children's bodies.

Secondly. The way that officials in China break the rules sends a message to its people that breaking rules is OK means that the common people see nothing wrong in it. We feel the results of this in Palo Alto as it is often this rule breaking from the Chinese government that many see here and follow through on breaking rules about residency requirements or other supposedly low key lawbreaking.

Posted by Boycott Beijing Olympics
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Aug 19, 2008 at 2:58 pm

"The way that officials in China break the rules sends a message to its people that breaking rules is OK means that the common people see nothing wrong in it."

Here's a brief synopsis/history of Chinese law, to help you understand.

Chinese society has *always* been ruled form the center - no exceptions. Incredibly authoritarian, barbaric, merciless, and bloody conflict have kept it that way, seemingly forever.

Civil legal code, as you and I understand it, has never existed in China. So, for instance, if you stole my book (a book I authored) and re-printed it with your name on it as the author, there was no intervening authority to appeal to.

Thus, conflicts like the one I just described, and many others, were resolved by one's connection to personal and networked power. IN other words, *anything goes* as long as you have the means to escape the consequences delivered by those you have wronged.

The law becomes punitive in China *only* if one's actions are seen as upsetting the "natural order" of whatever particular group holds central power at the time. Thus, if you carry a sign in the time of Mao that proclaimed "Capitalism is Good", you were a goner.

It's a LOT more complex than I have just described, but that's the sense of what we're discussing.

Chinese, in negotiation, *never* see "win-win" as an outcome. It's *always* zero sum. It's a cultural thing. From that perspective, one operates from the assumption that one can do whatever one wants unless one perceives that their is countervailing power on the other side sufficient enough to curtail one's action toward gaining power, fame, money, etc. etc.

Feigning and "polite" agreement in negotiation, or in situations like this Olympic problem, where Chinese officials "insist" that they have papers, and blah, blah, blah. They do this because they are more convinced than not that they can get away with it. And, given the weak response of a paid off bunch of sleaze Olympic officials, and nations who are afraid to say "boo" to China, they're right.

So, these little Chinese kids, with very flexible joints (and relatively soft bones, still in development, not a good thing) are pushed into the limelight after having been "chosen" for their role in Chinese culture - i.e. to embellish the motherland, to make China look, to it's own citizens (most of whom struggle, and have a hard time believing in progress) and the rest of the world that China is "just like us".

Looking at that within the the context of what I've described above, it's just another ploy to place a patina over the brutality of the Chinese government's cutthroat determination to dominate in _other_ ways.

America's top people know this, but they're all bought and paid for by commercial interests that profit from China's pathetic history of abusing its own people (that's why we have such cheap Chinese labor).

It's a complex system of abuse, natural resource rape, occasional token retribution from the West (as the West's big player rake it in), and so on.

We'll either elect leaders and appoint officials that will not truck these essential differences, and play hardball in a way that forces China to meet us in the middle, or we'll continue to get run over - in athletics, in commerce, in conflict, and so on.

In a very real way, this is all our own fault.

Posted by Citizen
a resident of South of Midtown
on Aug 19, 2008 at 3:56 pm

I have to agree it's a cultural thing. We saw it in the opening ceremony where, as long as we can pull it off, we'll try anything is the operative philosophy. They have simply done the same thing with their gymnasts and who knows what other athletes, events. Here with the gymnasts, the problem was compounded, evidently, by the inexperience of, I believe it was the judge from Australia, who simply did not subtract enough for the botched landing of the Chinese gymnast, which led to the 'tie' in the first place, which, with more skilled judges, would not have been a tie. The tie breaker was simply the final insult to the American, who did handle it well. I'm sad on her and all of our behalf. But Americans have lost our edge. She sat by like Al Gore did when cheated, lied to, and outflanked as we all have been.

Posted by Still Watching
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 19, 2008 at 8:38 pm

Yes, maybe China has cheated with the age of their gymnasts but just remember the U.S. has done it's share of cheating with steroids in the past. We know this because years later the athletes involved have had their medals taken away from them. If the U.S. can cheat why can't other countries?

Posted by Olympic snooze
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Aug 19, 2008 at 8:49 pm

Ah ha the two wrongs make it right olympics.

I just love liberal logic.

Posted by Confucius
a resident of another community
on Aug 19, 2008 at 11:32 pm

Boycott Beijing Olympics:
"The Chinese mentality of winning at any cost is appalling."

Maybe to lib-lubs, but not to conservatives - they admire and applaud it!

Posted by Raising Awareness
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 20, 2008 at 12:46 pm

The forging of documents by the government should alert people to other things as well, including educational qualifications to immigrate as graduate students, residents, undergraduates, and so forth.

Not only in China, but from other developing countries as well.

After living in Asia for many years, I personally know of at least six people from affluent families that were able to pay for fake degrees and documents, which indicate a student's level of education and accomplishment. These students immigrated as students to Canada, the U. K., Australia, and the U.S.
This was more than 10 years ago.
I would hope that these Universities have now realized what has been going on for long time.

Medical residents with 4 year medical degrees from developing countries do not have to endure the same level of cut-throat undergraduate competition as pre-med students in the U.S. in order to get good grades, and pass the MCAT. Many have very little education at all. Although you may not see it at Stanford, smaller universities were caught off guard. Immigrants applying for residency positions do not have the same level of background as students who were fully educated here.

Westerners are too trusting, and believe anything.

Lying and cheating occurs not only in the Olympics, but in visas (to join so called blood relatives like aunties, cousins, etc), to bogus student qualifications.

There is a marked difference between these Western Cultures and other cultures.

Cheating and corruption are a way of everyday life in developing countries.

I hope people will start to understand and believe this.

I think poster "Boycott Beijing Olympics" understands this. I have remained silent for many years after living abroad. I never mentioned the abuses which I saw there and now here (taking advantage of our system).

Japan is not included in my above statement.

Japan is also having problems doing business with China and other developing countries. Problems with technology theft, document forging, and the overall quality of products made in these less developed countries.

One more thing, my Asian room-mate in college paid someone to take several of his final exams, and later take the GRE for him. This was years ago, and I hope that they have tightened the exam rules in our universities.

Cheating undermines the hard work of other athletes, students, and consumers.

To be fair and clear, this includes the use of performance enhancing drugs by all athletes and students from all countries.

What I am discussing is dishonesty which is backed by an individual's own government.

Posted by fireman
a resident of another community
on Aug 20, 2008 at 3:47 pm

You live in Palo Alto and watch your city attack human rights. Then you talk about runs and fair play.

More two faced sick citizens... This place is unreal..

"Dishonesty which is backed by an individual's own government"

Lets see, Federal,State,local, maybe CITY. What rules do they play bye?

Clean your house before you worry too much about someone elses house?

Posted by trollspotter
a resident of another community
on Aug 20, 2008 at 3:51 pm

fireman, where in China did you say you were moving to?

Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 20, 2008 at 4:13 pm

Still Watching,

American athletes are not taking steroids with permission and help from the American government--whereas I think we all know who produced the snazzy passports. Marion Jones didn't get a slap on her wrists for lying. She's in jail and her medals were taken away.

So, no, we're not in the habit of letting our athletes get away with it. The steroid problem, also, is not unique to the United States. It's throughout sports. I remember it first being a real issue with the East German women swimmers in the 1970s.

There's a difference between bad individual choices and ones made by a corrupt state. I was in Indonesia and saw some of the cultural issues first-hand--favors, who-you-know, etc. are just ways of doing business. I dont' think the ethical issues, per se, are even understood as ethical issues. It's not the West and they didn't evolve the same notion of civil rights and public responsibility as did we. There's no Ancient Greece, no Rome, no Magna Carta, no common law, no Napoleonic Code, no Constitution, no Bill of Rights. There's a huge difference in perspective, in what we take for granted.

Posted by Boycott Beijing Olympics
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Aug 20, 2008 at 7:07 pm

Here's pretty incontrovertible proof of the real age of many of the athletes on the Chinese Olympic team.

This first post is a a brilliant piece of sleuthing
Web Link

the second post couldn't be scrubbed form the Google cache (like the ones above)
here are the original birth records, with pertinent records highlighted - a cache of an official document showing the birth dates of the athletes.
Web Link

Chinese gymnast underage, according to state report
Web Link

article on underage Chinese gymnasts
Web Link

Records say Chinese gymnasts may be underage
Web Link

Posted by Boycott Beijing Olympics
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Aug 20, 2008 at 7:07 pm


A summary from Slashdot on the uncovering of the Chinese Olympic fraud
Web Link

Now, the question remains, will the Olympic officials have the guts to to the right thing and _act_ on this information, or will they continue to bend over for the Chinese government. This is a perfect time to start to make the Chinese learn an object lesson about the consequences of "act now, and apologize later".

Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 22, 2008 at 3:05 pm

Looks like they've had to react, wonder if anything will happen?

Posted by Boycott Beijing Olympics
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Aug 22, 2008 at 11:05 pm

There's no hiding this; it's out, and it's fact. The Chinese stupidly think that nobody but them can read Chinese; they didn't go deep enough to bury the evidence, which has been strewn all over the place. This won't change the overall gold medal leaders, but will cause a huge loss of face, as it should. I don't feel one bit sorry for anyone but the kids they use and abuse. the Chinese picked the sports that have the most medals, and went to work getting those medals by hook or crook. Usian Bolt is the real story this time. He's the only reason I'm sorry to have missed the games. Phelps? A great athlete, but letting Kellogg's plaster his picture all over boxes of Frosted Flakes? How lame and uninformed about nutrition is that guy, anyway? (He's pretty uninformed, knocking off almost a dozen eggs per day; I wonder how many ignorant Americans will start following his example. "Ifr it's good for Phelps, it must be good for me. Another benefit of the Games; higher cholesterol and more diabetes in the general population.

Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 23, 2008 at 2:44 pm

I thought dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol levels weren't necessarily linked. Phelps is supposed to consume 8,000 to 12,000 calories a day. It's a totally different diet than is required by an average American--lot more protein's needed to repair muscle fibers among other things.

Usain Bolt, on the other hand, apparently ate chicken nuggets before his first win.

Posted by Capitalist Pig
a resident of another community
on Aug 23, 2008 at 4:21 pm

Key difference:
Chinese: Seek to win gold for their mother country.
Americans: Seek to win gold to "cash in" ("Frosted Flakes - They're GGGRRRREEEAAAATTTT!!!!!!")
Jamaicans: Seek to win gold as another excuse to party, party, party!!!

Posted by Boycott Beijing Olympics
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Aug 23, 2008 at 7:22 pm

OP, Perhaps you should consider the impact on the target population that Phelps is being thrust upon. As a supporter of schools, children and presumably good health, I would hope you'd understand that Phelps is lending his image to breakfast food that is practically, for oall intents and purposes, candy. And please spare us the far-from-resolved lessons about diet and blood cholesterol. Until we know for sure, it's not exactly a good idea to be consuming 8-12 eggs per day, no matter one's activity or cholesterol levels. Phelp's diet is a disaster for most normal people, but many uninformed normal people will look at Phelp's diet and say "if it's good for him, it must be good for me". One would think he would know better, or be better informed by his agent. American kids lost an opportunity to be better informed about their diet, in an age where one out of every three of them is projected to develop diabetes.

Posted by Old Myths
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Aug 24, 2008 at 9:14 pm

What's wrong with eggs?

They do not contribute to diabetes, and have very little impact, if any, on heart disease.

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