Sunday, August 17, 2008

Using Google to check on the true age of China's gymnastics competitors

So, there has been a great deal of controversy about the true age of the Chinese female competitors in the Olympic games. Apparently, the younger the competitors, the more likely their center of gravity is advantageous in the competition. The development during puberty changes their body shape and this makes a huge difference.

I had the thought of using search engines to check on the likely age of these competitors. I first found their Chinese names, and then searched for their name with the years to see which is more likely to be their true birth year. Here are the results:

For 何可欣 (He Kexin), 1994 gives 4000 results, while 1993 gives only 2730 results.

For 江钰源 (Jiang Yuyuan), 1992 gives 11500 results, while 1991 gives only 5220 results.

It seems quite clear that while the Chinese NGO can change the passports of the competitors, they can't change the documents that are already on the web. In fact, browsing through the web documents written before this past year, there is plenty of evidence that it was broadly known the true age of these competitors. For the IOC to not investigate this problem, it seems they're damaging their own authority.

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