Thursday, August 14, 2008

So The Chinese Gymnast Was Only 14?

My reaction remains: So what? OK, so it breaks the "rules." But if they'll let that David Archuleta-like British diver compete at 14, it seems ludicrous to restrict gymnasts.

Again, it's very simple: IF you're good enough to compete at the highest level, there shouldn't be any age restriction. That goes for basketball, football and baseball, too, by the way.

7 comments:

Ryan Mathre said...

That's a different argument. The point is that the age min. is 16 and the Chinese team didn't follow the rules. I agree that it should be open to any age (others more well-versed in the sport would argue otherwise) but they didn't follow the rules that are in place.

Luckbox said...

I'm not sure it's that simple...

The age restrictions were put in place in an effort to protect young gymnasts, females especially. The fear was that the wear and tear of international gymnastic competition could lead to significant and permanent injuries.

I'm not sure you can quite compare it to the NBA.

Chimpo said...

A valid point being, what if the US or another country's best gymnast is under 16 and was left off the team because of the age rule? Why should everyone else be punished for abiding by the rules?

Eric said...

SI.com has good rational on the subject.

Randvek said...

Agree completely with luckbox. China has a really spotty record on a lot of things, and if they are allowed to field gymnasts of any age, there's going to be a ton of exploitation there in what is already an exploitative sport.

Let a kid be a kid already.

Don said...

Dan, I'm inclined to agree with the others here. I don't necessarily have a problem with no age limit, and if you are good enough to be in the Olympics, regardless of age, then you're good enough (but I don't know much about the history of women gymnastics which may give credence to such a rule).

But ultimately, that's besides the point in this discussion. Unless the Chinese are going to do some type of Thoreau civil disobedience regarding the age rule, they have no right to be rewarded when breaking the rules. And, its rules, not "rules." You can't ignore it just because you don't agree with it, unless of course, you want to be punished as a way to draw attention to an unjust rule.

Matthew said...

I'm going to have to land on the other side of this one. Just because you don't agree with the rules, you don't have the right to break them. I'm not an expert, and maybe the rule is wrong, but given that the rules can't be changed for this games, whether or not you care doesn't matter. If they're underage, they're cheating, period.

That said, I'll go ahead and agree with this guy, who I'm guessing knows more about gymnastics than most or all people writing/reading this blog.