Age inquiry not bothering He Kexin

He Kexin with her teammates.

He Kexin with her teammates.

Uttering words that bely a maturity beyond her 16 or whatever years, He Kexin finally spoke to a reporter about the age issue that have plauged her since she burst onto the international scene earlier this year.

“I don’t get upset because I have answered this question many times, there’s no need to explain anymore,” He said Friday in Hong Kong, where the Chinese gold medalists arrived for a three-day visit.

Some media reports and online documents suggested He could be 14, but she and Chinese officials insisted she’s 16. Gymnasts must turn 16 during the Olympic year to be eligible to compete.

He beat American Nastia Liukin to win the uneven bars title in Beijing, and was part of China’s gold-medal winning team.

China’s deputy sports minister Cui Dalin insisted Friday that He was born on Jan. 1, 1992, and that all China’s gymnasts conformed to the requirements for participation in the Olympics.

Given that the Chinese have apparently satisfied the International Gymnastics Federation’s inquiry into He’s age, perhaps it’s time to get back to admiring her fantastic bar routine and hoping she competes it (and upgrades) for years to come. I say this not because it’s fair, but because the age rule should be eliminated to avoid catastrophes like this taint great performances and make them seem less so.

Although Kim Gwang Suk was obviously underage in 1992 and it’s still the topic that attaches to her name most, age flap aside, nobody denies that her bar routine was magnificent as well.

Kim Gwang Suk, 1992 Olympic Games Event Finals, Uneven Bars:

18 Responses to “Age inquiry not bothering He Kexin”

  1. gymnfan Says:

    Not only does she show her maturity, but she is completely selfless too. I read in another forum she wrote in her blog after the bars final that she thought her teammate, Yang Yilin, would win. That’s why she picked up YY after her bars performance. But then her scores came out and He Kexin and everyone else realized YY was robbed. That is, everyone except the idiot NBC commentators, especially Tim who kept trying to make a case for Nastia being underscored.

  2. Julieta Says:

    it`s not just a sport, IT`S A WAY OF LIFE!!! (L)

  3. bishop Says:

    Ok first, i watched my first gymnastic competition in my life during the 2008 games, and i am a 40 year old male. My thoughts are 1) He Kexin was absolutely awesome, 2) she has a good internal spirit 3) she is one tough cookie. I have since researched this best little bar worker. And discovered that Kexin was not allowed to go the the closing ceremonies, because of death threats from America. China assigned 12 (fbi) bodyguards for her, as she is now a national hero. (Yang also captured the hearts of China.) Kexin said that she came from a very, very poor family, and will use her $250,000 Olympic bonus to help her family buy a home, and help her older brother go to a university. Also, she said that Cheng fei was her hero.

    But here is what stunned me the most. The Chinese coach her scouted her, almost didnt bring Kexin on to the national team because they didnt like her eyes. I guess in the Chinese culture, kexin eyes are considered ugly. I, however, think Kexin has cute eyes, and that she is a cutie pie. Frankly, even though i desperately wanted our team to win, i am content that the gold went to Kexin.

  4. bishop Says:

    Sorry, one more thing. The Chinese uses the lunar calenadar, which means the age of the child begins to run when the child is in the womb. So when a Chinese child is born, he/she is considered 9 months, and not one day old. But this still would not apply to Kexin, because she was rumored to be 13, 14, or 15 “take your pick.”

  5. bishop Says:


    I have re-watched the uneven competition several times. And yes, Yang stuck her landing, and her routine seemed to be flawless. However, i think Kexin difficulty may have given her some bonus points that overcame Kexin landing, and another major error by her on the high bar. However, i do think Yang was deserving of the silver. But as i said before, i am a newbie to gymnastics, as Kexin is the only reason why i became interested in the sport. And it is an absolutely awesome sport.


    I remember in a kexin documentary that Kexin said that Cheng Fei was her hero. That it was Fei, her taught her what it took to be an Olympian.

  6. gymnfan Says:

    bishop, I’m also more than satisfied He Kexin won on bars. It’s a little ridiculous to me that Nastia’s and Yang Yilin’s routines are considered the same difficulty level as He Kexin. But this code is telling me they are judging by the same A score for all 3 gymnasts. So even though Yang Yilin had a cleaner routine than both Kexin and Nastia, I’m glad the gold went to Kexin because her routine is simply more difficult than Yang’s or Nastia’s. However, Yilin was obviously cleaner in her routine than any other gymnast and under this code, she should have been the rightful winner.

    But like I said, Kexin had more difficulty, but it didn’t show in her A score, so I guess things worked out in the end. Sort of. I would have given Yang Yilin AT LEAST the silver. Yilin has weak kips, but Nastia had repeated form breaks in her legs and of course, her ugly dismount. Although in the EF, not quite as ugly as she usually does it, but still, far from perfect.

    Also, it’s no surprise Cheng Fei is Kexin’s hero. I’ve read Jiang Yuyuan say her favorite gymnast is Cheng Fei. They all look up to her. She’s not just a superb gymnast, but a great role model.

  7. gymnfan Says:

    Oh, I wanted to add thanks to bishop for the info on He Kexin. I think it’s terrible she couldn’t even attend the closing ceremonies in her own country! I’m ashamed as an American citizen because of the behavior of some people here. Death threats? Did it really have to come down to that? I’m also disgusted by the online hating that is going on, especially Youtube videos projecting hate upon the poor girl by using racist pictures of her and facebook hate groups. It’s all a little too disturbing to swallow.

    Well, I hope He Kexin continues to dominate on bars! Go He Kexin!

    I also completely agree, she is a cutie pie! πŸ˜‰

  8. bishop Says:


    Not only did Kexin get death threats, the Austrilian judge who gave her an extra high score, also got death threats. I too am disgusted by our nation’s behavior. Even if Kexin was not 16, it was not her fault that the Chinese government put her on the team and told her to keep her mouth shut. As far as the youtube videos, i make it a point to write rebuttal post to stupid and racist comments against Kexin. I enjoy watching the world’s top athletes, no matter what color or nationality of the athlete. And the gymnastic women’s competiton would not have been the same without Kexin.

    And yes, you are right about Cheng fei. The head coach said without Fei, the Chinese women’s team would have never won the team competition. The coach said, “that Fei picked up too much weight to compete, and she almost had to quit the team.” Except that Fei decided to work extremely hard to get her form back, eating “only” fruit for four years. In the process, as the new girls like Kexin and Yilin saw how hard Fei was working, they knew they had to elevated their work ethic to keep up with her. And eventually, they all became strong like Fei. So yes, they all look up to her. Also, i read that Fei said, “this was probably her last Olympic games.” But now, after seeing how she is being honored in China and around the world, i am hoping that she will go to London. I saw her in a video from a Hong Kong gold medalist celebration, where she performed a beam exhibition in front of thousands, and she seemed to be very, very happy.

    Anyways, i will let you know if i find anything else from my google searches about China’s women team. πŸ™‚

  9. bishop Says:

    I know you probably have already seen the He Kexin montage, but just in case. You tube:’ he kexin montage


    cheers πŸ™‚

  10. Isis Says:

    Death threats?!? OMG. Where did you read that? I just did a Google search, and nothing came up. (For He Kexin, I mean; I did find some references to death threats against the judge.)

    Anyway, if it’s true – poor girl! Ugh. (And in any case – poor judge!)

  11. bishop Says:,

    Yah, well our google will only show stuff about Kexin age, and nothing else. The only articles you get in America are the ones of Kexin being underage. Even though she is the best bar-worker in the entire world, regardless of her age. My girlfriend is Chinese, and she went to the Chinese version of google, the one above. But, on baidu, there are lots of cool things of Kexin. For example, there was one where Shawn Johnson, and the entire Chinese team were on a Chinese game show together after the competition, where Cheng Fei gave her a gift. And there were others of them going to a Chinese restaurant together. When my girl gets back, i will have post it, but it will be in Chinese. And yes, the Austrialian judge also recieved death threats, according to the same Chinese article that reference Kexin death threats. And yes, it is more then sad, it is horrific. Anyways, kexin just left a hong kong celebration for all of the gold medal winners, and she seemed to be her same happy self.

  12. Isis Says:

    Okay, thanks Bishop. I can’t read Chinese, but still. And yes, it’s really sick. I mean, think about it. Say she is underage, as those people think she is. That would make her 14. You are going to send death threats to a 14-year-old girl? Geez.

    And yeah, you’re right, all we see now is discussion about how old she is, nothing about what a great UB worker she is. She’s my favorite gymnast right now. Her UB routine blew me away, and I had been rooting for her to get the UB gold in Beijing for many months. It was my single biggest wish for the Olympics, and well, it came true. πŸ™‚

  13. bishop Says:

    Isis, i am also very happy that she won gold. Even though i am a grown man. I weeped like a baby when Kexin fell in her prelims. I weeped even harder when she bowed her head in shame to the fans in the stadium. I think if she didnt qualify for the unevens, she would have mentally been destroyed for a lifetime. I dont think i have ever seen a competitor want something so bad in all of my sports watching years.

    In the prelimins, i also liked how the other national competitors came up and comforted her. I knew then that Kexin has a good heart, when the other nation’s competitors treated Kexin nicely in her time of need. Also, i could tell that she was very popular on her team when they embraced her. All of her teammates hands were reaching for her at once after she completed her broken routine. In particular, Yang rushed acrossed the entire stadium to go comfort Kexin. It was stunning how different Alicia Sacromne was treated when she fell, and how Kexin was treated when she fell, by their teammates. If you havent seen Kexin prelims, go to the website, and you can see the video. I know of no other competitor with the heart that Kexin has. And if there was a medal given for the athlete with the most beautiful spirit, kexin would have gotten the gold.

    Kexin rules!!!

  14. shergymrag Says:

    “And discovered that Kexin was not allowed to go the the closing ceremonies, because of death threats from America. China assigned 12 (fbi) bodyguards for her, … ”

    That really looks like He Kexin standing next to Shawn.

  15. iluvfei Says:

    “The Chinese coach her scouted her, almost didnt bring Kexin on to the national team because they didnt like her eyes. I guess in the Chinese culture, kexin eyes are considered ugly… ”

    uhm.. i have watch this documentary and the coach dont hate her eyes its not the eyes he was talking about he was talking about her legs the coach didnt like kexin legs at first cause he taught it was not straight enough.

  16. bishop Says:

    I meant concert, not closing ceremony.

  17. bishop Says:

    Relevant section from He was a last-minute no-show at a concert Saturday night with other Chinese gold medalists, and no explanation was given. Cheng Fei, the only team member whose age hasn’t been questioned, was there, but did not do interviews.

  18. DESTIO Says:

    This is going to be costly to an extent. You should try to make an estimate of how much you will end up spending to give your bathroom the required new look. It is better you settle this aspect of things properly so that you will not end up getting hung mid way through the redesigning of the bathroom.

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