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August 15, 2008

oddly, the gold medals came with “kids under 12 eat for free” coupons from i-hop

A controversy erupted this week after two members of the Chinese women’s gold-medal-winning gymnastics team were accused of being much younger than the minimum Olympic age requirement that participants celebrate their 16th birthday this year.

Of course, this is nothing more than the “swiftboating” of the Chinese.  The Chinese government clearly proved their gymnasts were 16 by issuing them genuine, 100% authentic, “Chinese-Communist-Party-approved” passports that stated they were 16 (you just had to be careful you didn’t smudge the ink).

After all, the Chinese government would never do anything that could remotely be considered deceptive or in any way try to pull one over on Olympic viewers nor would they ever press an unfair advantage over an opponent.

Yeah, sure, the gymnasts looked a little young, but this is purely a cultural misunderstanding based on long-held Western biases as to what constitutes “young” or “child” or “baby teeth.”

In fact, many Chinese adults appear to look younger than they really are to Western eyes.  Take, for example, this recent photo of 65-year-old Chinese President Hu Jintao,
President_hu_jintao
Sure, he could probably pass for a younger man in the States, and would probably even be carded at many drinking establishments.  (Wouldn’t that be embarrassing!  “I’m so sorry Mr. President, I didn’t recognize you!”) But such unfortunate prejudice is no reason to accuse the Chinese of cheating.

And then there’s China’s 65-year-old premier, Wen Jiabao seen here with 67-year-old Chairman of the Standing Committee, Wu Bangguo. 
Wen_wu
While Wu is obviously older, preconceived Western notions regarding facial hair, musculature, and the onset of puberty would probably cause the casual American observer to be surprised to learn that both had already entered their seventh decade of life.  Or even graduated from elementary school.

And this is hardly an unusual phenomenon. Here we have a group photo of the controlling members of the Central Military Commission of the People’s Liberation Army:
Cmc_pla
And  here the owners of China’s four largest Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises:
Kfc_franchisees
So, there’s really nothing to see here.

Now, you'll have to excuse us, Chief  Grand Justice Wang Shengjun is visiting for the weekend and he just knocked over his juicebox. 

J.

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August 15, 2008 at 02:08 PM in Sports | Permalink

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Comments

I'm impressed they were even able to field a team. I mean in the last 16 years, how many of the girls born were even kept?

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Too harsh?

Posted by: Amarsir | Aug 16, 2008 4:23:38 PM

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