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Lv 5
Bart asked in SportsOlympics · 1 decade ago

Should the FIG and IOC change the legal age of gymnast that preform in the Olympics to 14 ?

So that China and the rest of the world can send there best gymnast to the Games with out having to cheat


The injury thing is bunk the girls are still competing just on a different stage. it is a farce to make someone look compassionate to the world because the masses could bare to see little girls get hurt. I agree that cheating should be punished but I just don't bye the injury angle

Update 2:

I asked the question to spark the debate and make people think. (if) China did cheat and they should be punished. He there 14yo gymnast was amazing and deserves a metal.

8 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    How does the current age limit of 16 protect these athletes?

    The IOC doesn't have any age restrictions to come to the Olympics. They allow each sports governing body to impose the rules they see fit. The FIG (gymnastics international governing body) had a rule of 14 back in the 1970's when Olga Korbit (1972) and Nadia Comanche (1976) were competing, changed it to 15 in the 1980's, and finally to 16 in 1992 (Barcelona).

    The rule for gymnastics is that the athlete must turn 16 by the end of the Olympic year they compete in.

    They cite the fact that the pressure for the younger kids to perform, younger athletes are smaller and thus have an advantage, are more flexible and thus have an advantage, and are still developing muscularly and skeletally are the reasons for this age restriction.

    I question this because if these girls couldn't compete at the Olympics they are still eligible for the Junior World Championships where they'd be under the same pressure and doing the same routines. Wouldn't this make the reasons listed above moot?

    If they throw out this silly rule there will be no hard feelings, no controversy, no lying by host NOCs and governments, and it won't put kids in the middle where they're told to lie if asked about their ages.

    It will be a real shame if these girls have their medals stripped from them because of decisions made by adults and administrators on their behalf.

    I hope this addresses your question.


  • 1 decade ago

    I just read an article where the head of the FIG was talking about how they want the focus to be on "artistic" gymnastics. He's concerned about athletes pushing themselves to do more difficult elements without regard for how it looks. To that end, older gymnasts would be preferable.

    In the early 80's, the minimum age was raised to 15 and then in 1997 it was raised to 16. The primary concern seems to have been protecting younger gymnasts from serious injury. The article also states that younger gymnasts have an advantage because they were more flexible, had less history of injury, and less fear of failure.

    If the reason for the age minimum is a legitimate safety concern, then they definitely should not lower it to 14. If it's just about a level playing field, then they should level it by allowing all countries to bring their best athletes regardless of age. And if the FIG is seriously concerned about focusing on the "artistic" aspect of the sport, then they need to refine the judging to properly dole out deduction and they need to give less emphasis to the difficulty score.

    For what it's worth, I saw Nastia Lukin's beam routine from the champions gala and I think that is what the sport should aim for. Right now the little artistic hand waves and such look out of place in contrast to all the tumbling. Nastia's routine reminded me more of a figure skating routine than a regular gymnastics routine.

  • 1 decade ago

    Well the reason they have the rules in the first place is to lower risk of injury. Going from 14 to 15 then 15 to 16 later. What they should do is make a harsh penalty that'll discourage cheating. Such as ban them from next olympics in that event or w/e.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It would be a shame that they had to break the rules in order to win.

    No I don't think the age limit should be changed just so younger people can compete. Rules are a part of life so people need to get over it. So they have to wait until after the age of 16, who cares.

    I think its more unfair for soccer players, they are only allowed up to 3 members above the age of 23 on the team.

    Honestly what's worse: being to young to compete (eventually you'll be old enough) or being too old (it's too late then)?

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  • 1 decade ago

    No, I think China and other countries should abide by the rules that are in place for the protection of young athletes.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    And that will change things how, exactly? If you want to make things 'legal', then you'll have to lower the age to at least 10 and that's a generous estimate.

  • 1 decade ago

    It was at 14 & got raised.

    No it shouldn't be lowered - to protect the athletes.

  • 1 decade ago

    Then what about the 13yr olds?

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