Monday, August 25, 2008

Olympics Closing Ceremony

The Olympics Closing Ceremony was another spectacular show put on by the Chinese. Bravo!

It got me to wondering though...

Would anything like the opening or closing ceremonies of this Olympics be possible in a non-communist country where you couldn't just ORDER millions of members of your population to work for 18 hours a day on practicing for the show and paying them whatever the government saw fit to pay them? Those two ceremonies were ten times more extravagant than any Super Bowl half time show, and the Super Bowl half time shows are backed by gajillions of dollars of big name capitalist companies' advertising.

As those hundreds of Chinese comrades did their dance on the side of the remembrance tower and then dozens more were flying up in the air suspended by wires, it occurred to me that OSHA would NEVER have signed off on anything like that. Well, at least not without extensive safety mechanisms that would have made it just that much more expensive to try and accomplish it in America.

Given the Chinese government's low regard for human rights, I was curious... How many people were injured or killed practicing the high-risk evolutions they put into the opening and closing ceremonies? Not like we'd ever know - they'd never allow it to be published.

If you ask me, it's the same thing with the age of the Chinese female gymnasts. There's no way we'd ever be able to conclusively prove they lied. The communists will create whatever documentation they need as "proof" of the gymnasts age, and they'd never allow anything to be published to the contrary.

Even so, I think these statistics are pretty suspicious if not damning. Basically, all of the Chinese Olympic Team's female gymnasts' heights and weights were the same as that of an average Chinese 12 year old Chinese girl, and they're mostly at or below the 3% mark for the average Chinese 16 year old. It's possible they were all 16 years old. Not probable. Just possible. I suppose if you've got a population of 1.3 BILLION people, and you've got a communist government that can boss people around, then you can scour the countryside for those bottom 3 percentile girls and order them to join the gymnastics team.

There's one other point to consider that they briefly mention in that article. The historic values they used for the "average" Chinese girl's height and weight were from 1965. I would be willing to bet that the average Chinese girl's height and weight has gone UP in the past 40 years, making the data on their gymnasts this year that much more unbelievable.

Again... not probable. Just possible.

All that being said, the conclusion of the article makes a good point: Why bother?
I challenge you to name any activity other than gymnastics (excluding obvious things that depend purely on being small in stature) in which someone who practices regularly between the age of 13 and the age of 16 wouldn’t be a whole lot better by the age of 16 than they were three years earlier.
Why would they need to "cheat" and use girls under 16 years old? Where's the motive?

Thank goodness the Olympics are over. They were fun to watch, but they've been keeping me up late at night watching, and my butt is sore from sitting in our Aloha furniture for hours on end. It's time to hit the rack.

1 comment:

blunoz said...

Someone much smarter than me emailed this response, and I thought it was worth sharing because it answers my questions about (1) Why would they want to "cheat" and use younger girls? and (2) Why is there a 16 year old minimum age limit anyway? Here's the response:

There are all kinds of stories running rampant on the abuse that the entertainers experienced.... Some of the people in various costumes were in them for more than 36 hours! Zhang Jigang spared nothing to get what HE wanted and China’s Vision. Here’s just one of the 655,000 articles on abuse @ the Opening Ceremonies.

As far as the under-age gymnasts ... It was right after Nadia Cominici won her gold medals (1976) @ 14 that they changed the rules to the minimum age of 16. Girls younger than 16 bodies’ have not fully formed and solidified. Consequently .... Their flexibility is much more pronounced. Good for gymnastics.... Very bad for the body. They found over the years that forcing young girls into that type of gymnastics actually deforms their bodies and caused several problems later in life – which is why they raised the age from 14 to 16. The “motive” is that they are far more flexible and will win over the other participants who are at least age 16. It’s all about the medals.

According to the article above they now have proof that this kid is only 14..... And their is suspicion that some of the others are even younger.