China: How old is He Kexin?

While authorities state she is of Olympic regulation age, China Digital Times‘ Xiao Qiang looks at one of several sources that put He Kexin‘s age at around fourteen.


  • MuLan

    Some of the girls in the American look so young too. Shawn Johnson looks like she’s 15. What’s her real age?


  • frozensweetie

    I think this whole conversation is ridiculous. It seems as if some of these comments are not based on the situation. They are just a way to make hateful comments about other nations. I am a United States citizen and proud of it. However, I don’t think we live in a perfect place. That being said, who does? To characterize Americans as cheaters and liars is hypocritical because those are human traits, and that means there are liars and cheaters everywhere, even in China.

    That being said, I wish the American government and media were more concerned with checking the validity of all documentation, including the illegal documentation used by undocumented workers, than whether a 14 year old go to go the the big girls competition. Priorities people?

    Most people would agree that the right thing to do is remove or significantly lower the age limit, anyway. That means those gymnasts still would have kicked ass, only in a fair matter. Then again, what in this world is fair?!?

  • frozensweetie

    Additionally, to all of those who are commenting on the stress of those “poor young girls” who are competing at 14… each of the girls that you saw giving their all during competition have been training for years…. their body is under the same stress. They are competing in junior competitions with the same routines. The only difference is the platform.

  • RC

    Chinese girls tend to be very small, American girls don’t. I think a country with 1.2(?) billion people and a well-established gymnastics program has plenty of good gymnasts to fill their team without resorting to underage girls. The way I see it, if anyone has any solid evidence that any of the Chinese gymnists violated the rules, let them present it to the Olympic Committee. If not, stop whining about it. Behavior like that makes all Americans look bad.


    The Chinese should be doing well enough without having to cheat, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. Considering that there are one billion more people in China than in the United States, surely they could have found at least 1 girl of age to challenge the best athletes in the world-Those from the U.S.
    I don’t think that the Chinese press publishing a story about the age of one of their own athletes makes Americans look bad in any way. If America was so bad, then why are millions of people risking their lives every year trying to get in?
    Just think of how dominant the U.S. would be with a billion more people to choose from.

  • Richard

    I think the issue here is not one of whining on the part of the Americans, it is one of the Spirit of the Olympics. I am an American. Marion Jones was stripped of 5 medals and banned from Beijing. GOOD!!! How would you feel if you took second place and were stripped of the chance to stand on the podium as the winner because someone lied about using drugs or their age. Cheating is cheating no matter what country you live in.

    And BTW for anyone not paying attention:
    NBC, during the Olympics, aired a Chinese reporter doing a story on the ages of the Chinese gymnasts and showed pictures of the submissions to International competitions for the last four years. It is clear that about 2-3 years ago, the Chinese reported many of their ages differently. All of them were exactly 2 years older.

    If Youtube had the story, I would post it.

  • Haywood Jablome

    i think the over under on her age is 7 im going with the under

  • icepuck

    There is something called rules that the Olympic Committee puts out. The reason for the age limit is that the younger are more flexible. If it didn’t make a difference why would the Chinese be working around the rules and regulations?

    There are rules against drugs. Anybody caught using them, U.S. 2000 Mens relay team, have the medals taken away. I totally agree with that. It’s cheating. This is cheating as well. The rules should be enforced. Period. End of story.

  • From the NY Times

    In Chinese newspaper profiles this year, He was listed as 14, too young for the Beijing Games.

    The Times found two online records of official registration lists of Chinese gymnasts that list He’s birthday as Jan. 1, 1994, which would make her 14. A 2007 national registry of Chinese gymnasts — now blocked in China but viewable through Google cache — shows He’s age as “1994.1.1.”

    Another registration list that is unblocked, dated Jan. 27, 2006, and regarding an “intercity” competition in Chengdu, China, also lists He’s birthday as Jan. 1, 1994. That date differs by two years from the birth date of Jan. 1, 1992, listed on He’s passport, which was issued Feb. 14, 2008.

  • Jen

    Ok, check this out…
    Look at some of these Chinese gymnasts. There’s NO WAY IN HELL that some of these girls are 16 (or 15), ESPECIALLY ESPECIALLY ESPECIALLY He Kexin!!!!!
    Now, saying that He Kexin cheated (which I TRULY TRULY belive) does NOT mean that I believe all Chinese are cheaters! Nor does it mean that I think the Chinese government is corrupted (I’ve got NO problems with China, and I wouldn’t mind visiting there one day, either). I think that one or two people helped He Kexin produce false documents “verifying” her FALSE age of 16. I think they should take away HER medals, and HER medals only. Let the rest of the Chinese gymnasts who are OF AGE keep their medals, even though He Kexin cheated, helping them get their medals (team).
    Also, this would allow Nastia Liukin to receive the gold medal that she EARNED from the uneven bars, because her routine truly was better (By the way, what the hell is up with the Austrailian judge?? And why do all the judges want to give the Chinese better scores when their routines weren’t better? Could it be because the Chinese girls are “cute” because they are so young? Hmmm… harder to give a lower score to a child than an adult…).
    Not saying He Kexin’s routine was bad, I think she’s a phenomenal gymnast (as are all the Chinese gymnasts, although Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson are better), but… let’s be fair people, seriously.
    If there are age rules, they need to be followed, and that’s all there is to it.

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