Annoyed.

  
The whole age issue with the Chinese female gymnastics team is such BS. Seriously. I’m so sick of reading it everywhere I go. It makes people look like whiny, bitter, sore losers. On top of that, it just shows how Americans are so unaware/ignorant of foreign cultures and society.

The news reports talk about how getting to the bottom of this is so crucial and beneficial for everyone – the Chinese, the US, IOC’s reputation, blah blah blah. But why not the same reaction when this happened years ago with Romania? Where was that good natured fair-play during the Paul Hamm’s gold medal controversy in 2004? Why now? Would people be jumping over this like how it is now if the US women’s gymnastics team weren’t a factor? No!

Consider this. Physical growth rates are about the same across races and cultures, but proportions are not. Asians are typically slimmer and smaller. Therefore, Asians look less maturely developed than their counterparts. Not to mention the quality and quantity of food taken in by these gymnasts are also different. Heck, I’m Chinese, 22 years old, and people think I’m in middle school!!! (Actually no, I’ve already graduated from college. *GLARE*) Asians look young to begin with!

Plus, gymnastics is a sport that consistently prevents female bodies from growing into their full adult physical potential. It was reported that these Chinese women gymnists started training at the age of 3 years old. This will play a marked effect on their bodies. The Chinese is a race that tends to look younger and smaller in stature than others, no matter what the age, thus producing even smaller looking teens. Even the 20 year old captain barely looked older than the rest of her Chinese team, and there is no age controversy surrounding her. 

Long story short, people shouldn’t be too quick to judge another culture based on American standards of growth. Determining age in people outside of the American culture or background is difficult to do. Not many Americans are constantly around Asians on a daily basis, so people have no foundation for passing judgment. The Chinese women’s team did an outstanding job and won the gold with their persistence, talents, and their share of hard work.

*EDIT* I want to turn your attention to this blog post:
http://www.dramabeans.com/2008/08/open-thread-43/

Advertisements