Friday, April 30, 2010
To quote Peaches & Herb - "too much, too little, too late..."
The U.S. Women's Gymnastics team got a bronze medal...10 years after the fact.
The International Olympic Committee stripped China of its 2000 Olympic Games women's team bronze medal based on the recommendation of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG). After conducting an internal investigation, the FIG nullified the results of Chinese gymnast Dong Fangxiao at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. It was determined that Dong was 14 years of age in 2000, which violated the rule that gymnasts must be at least 16 years old to compete in the Olympic Games. The FIG recommended that the IOC strip China of the team bronze medal
At the Bejing games in 2008 there was a lot of talk and accusations thrown around about the Chinese team being under age and therefore having an unfair advantage. And to tell you the truth, a lot of those girls from the 2008 Chinese team did look to be about 8 years old; but it's surprising that FIG went ahead and investigated the claims from back in 2000.
Should we expect more investigations concerning the Chinese Olympic gymnastics team?
I will say that after reading a lot of the comments from the ladies the competed for the US in 2000, while they're happy with the decision, it doesn't seem like it's going to have a big effect on their lives. Maybe there were some opportunities lost a decade ago, but besides bragging rights with their kids, what does this really do for them?
Of course Bela Karolyi, the infamous U.S. (and former Romanian) gymnastics coach is thrilled. He's been quoted as feeling justified after all these years later, and he's calling for further investigation into the 2008 team.
You know who I feel the worst for? Little Dong Fangxiao. She's now a 24 year old woman who's probably feeling a little humiliated about something that wasn't really her fault. Imagine the pressure that she must've been put under to lie or evade questions about her age. What a gross thing to happen to that team.
I can't wait for the Bob Costas narrated special report about all of this that's bound to air during the next summer Olympics in London in 2012.