Thursday, August 14, 2008

Golden Years

Today I'll post on a topic that several people seem to be talking about (meant to post about it yesterday when it would have been truly topical, but didn't get the chance). That topic being: some of these Chinese "women" gymnasts appear to be pre-pubescent.

I might buy that some of these (supremely, amazingly, stunningly talented) athletes are 16, but take a look at Deng Linlin:

I understand that there are cultural and genetic elements at play here, but if she's had a period, I've had one too.

The Olympic Committee (and the international community) claims that its hands are tied with this, because they have passports that show them to be 16.

Really, folks: how many 16-yrs olds have just lost a baby tooth?

I can't be the only one who's wondering, though, if there's a reluctance to pursue this question with more vigor because no one wants the, um, inconvenience of follow-up questions about child labor in general, particularly in the Host Nation of the Olympics...

Those are the questions really worth asking, of course. The life of an 11-yr-old Olympic gymnast, while demanding in ways I can only imagine, has to come out ahead of the life of an 11-yr-old in a shoe factory in all kinds of ways. What with the gold medals and all.

No comments: