Friday, August 22, 2008

Taking Candy from Babies

Based on various internet sources it would appear that there is something to the allegations that some of the Chinese female gymnasts were under the age of 16. To wit, the IOC is investigating.

Seriously, though. Let's imagine that this girl actually is 14, as all of the evidence I could see on the Interwebs seems to suggest.

Okay, now what?

Are you seriously going to suggest that we find this 14 year old girl who worked her butt off and take back her gold medal? Yes, her tininess probably gave her an advantage. In this care, an unfair advantage. But is that her fault? At 14, we consider most criminal offenders to be minors and not fully culpable. There's a thing called informed consent.

Does she deserve to be punished for what is ultimately the crime of a dictatorial government trying to conquer a ludicrously competitive field in a dangerously over hyped series of athletic events?

I know. If I were the father of the 16 year old girl who worked her butt off to get a silver medal, I'd probably be singing a different tune. Maybe Lisa Simpson can get Bill Clinton to overrule.

There's no pretty way out of this. Technically this girl is probably in the wrong. Technically they should probably take the medal away.

But between the difficulty of proving someone's age (the older passport might be in error as easily as the new one might be forged ... and you can't cut people's legs off and count the rings) and the sheer ugliness of taking a gold medal from a child ... I don't see how the IOC could ever make a ruling against the current standings.

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1 comment:

piedtype said...

Yes, it would be sad to take a medal from a little girl. But for her to even compete, her nation, her coach, her parents, her friends, and she knowingly lied or at least kept silent. Penalties are up to the IOC. Personally I thought the story of how the information was dug up and spread around the Internet so fast was by far the more important and interesting story.