Sizing up the top gymnastics teams (2008)

I was doing some reading on nutrition this morning and came across this old link from the LA Times from 2008. You may have seen it before, I haven’t. In the below image the LA Times compares the height, weight, age of the 2008 Olympic USA and Chinese Women’s Teams. They wonder does the age requirement in Olympic Gymnastics give  the young and mostly smaller Chinese gymnasts an advantage.

We could discuss the possibility that these “sixteen” year old’s are lying about their age but let’s leave that out of it. If you base your thoughts on the actual results (article published August 12th 2008 – the day before the Women’s Team Final) – how do you feel? China won the Team Gold, the USA won silver. USA won 7 individual medals in the women’s competition (only one being a bronze) and China won five individual medals (only one being a gold).

I like to think it’s down to physical, natural ability and doesn’t have a lot to do with their smaller sized frame and age – what about you?

One Comment

  1. Kate says:

    Hmm. I’m not sure size matters in age falsification as much as the idea that younger girls might not feel the pressure as much – it might be so surreal that they’re less stressed about performing on such a large stage. But I think that depends entirely on the gymnast. Some older gymnasts benefit from having had so much experience on the international stage that it’s old hat.

    That said, something about the silhouette of Bridget on that chart makes me giggle. They got a number of peculiarities right across the board (general body type, Chelsie’s legs, etc) but I’ve never seen Bridget look quite THAT awkward when simply standing. 😉

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