more doubt about the age of He Kexin

Shergymrag has done it again.

“Stumbled on to” the blog of an English speaking employee of the Ch*na Daily newspaper. In this non-official post, the employee — spiraledout — questions the real age of He Kexin, the favourite to win Bars at the 2008 Olympics:


Normally when a paper issues a correction it is to set the record straight. Ch*na Daily, my employer, almost never issues them because, well, as the official paper of the Communist Party, it is Pope-like — infallible.

So imagine how shocked I was when I was told earlier this week that we would be running a correction to a story from last week. I have never seen one in the 9 or so months I’ve been here, so I was a bit shocked. Did we get something wrong and, more shocking, are we admitting it?

Well, in a way. The story was about a young gymnast named He Kexin. Pretty straightforward tale: new gymnast on the scene, an ace at uneven bars, could give Team China that extra push to win all the golds they lust after. Except one little thing — the story said she was 14 years old.

The correction, then, reads as follows: “The second and third paragraphs on the May 23 story on Page 23 entitled ‘Uneven-bars queen new star in town’ should read: The 16-year-old newcomer to the national team…” and it goes on, exactly as it was in the original story, just with the age changed. Normally, of course, a real correction will mention what it is that’s being corrected, that is, what was wrong. But not this one. It just re-writes the story and insists that’s the way it is, not an admission of error. Just restating the facts as they were meant to be told.

So why the big deal? Why would we take the unprecedented step of issuing a correction, such as it is? Well, Olympic rules say that gymnasts must be at least 16 in order to compete in the Games, so even though her bio on (a Chinese sports site that I can’t navigate since it’s all in Chinese) says she is 14. But no, she is officially 16, because, well, they say so. …

A rare correction to obfuscate the truth – Left Coast Leaner

This “reeks of dishonesty”.

We may never know if He Kexin is old enough to qualify under F.I.G. rules. But it’s possible that the truth may out if Chinese reporters and bloggers decide to investigate.

The post goes on to compare this “scandal” with that of Chinese NBA Basketball prospect Yi Jianlian who’s age is “officially” 20, but some think he is closer to 24 or 25.

Related posts including He Kexin

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Rick Mc

Career gymnastics coach who loves the outdoors, and the internet.

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