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Hypocrite Károlyi Points Finger At Underage Chinese Gymnasts

Posted by Sara Lewis on August 14, 2008

Chinese womens artistic gymnastics Olympic team, Beijing 2008

Chinese women's artistic gymnastics Olympic team, Beijing 2008

As if there wasn’t enough for us all to be complaining about with regard to the Beijing Olympics already, ex-U.S. women’s gymnastics coach Béla Károlyi (best known for coaching Nadia Comaneci to the first official ‘perfect ten’ score at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, and now an NBC commentator for the current Olympics), has come out with a pearler.

In light of the recent media circus surrounding the age of various members of the Chinese women’s gymnastics team, Károlyi has been making narky comments on air, calling the girls “half-people” and kicking up a stink about the unfair acceptance of supposedly fake passports that, he propounds, falsely verified several of the Chinese gymnasts as being over sixteen years of age.

I don’t doubt for a second that Károlyi is right (especially considering the fact that young He Kexin’s birth date is recorded as being on January 1, 1992 – fishy, much?), but what troubles me is his audacity in delivering such accusatory comments from such a blatantly hypocritical subject position. The success of Károlyi, superstar of women’s gymnastics coaching in both Romania and the United States, has not been without its own controversy. Károlyi has been accused of starving his gymnasts, verbally and psychologically abusing them, as well as making them compete even with injuries as serious as broken bones. Perhaps a perfect example of this is the success of the Atlanta 96’s U.S. women’s gymnastics dream-team, the ‘Magnificent Seven‘, largely due to Kerri Strug’s final effort in carrying them to gold after completing her vault rotation on a severely injured ankle. Béla was quoted by ESPN as saying to Strug at the time “Kerri, we need you to go one more time. We need you one more time for the gold”. What’s more is that Time magazine online have quoted Károlyi in the past as having admitted to faking birth dates in his native Romania to allow underage gymnasts to perform.

So who is the medal-hungry Károlyi’s pot to call the medal-hungry Chinese kettle black?

Let’s forget for a second about breaking the official age-related rules of women’s gymnastics in the Olympics, and about the racist implications in Károlyi’s “half-people” statement, and think instead about the pressure that Károlyi, and gymnastics coaches all over the world alike, put on their students to appear like twelve-year old girls, whether they actually are or not. I could draw on the extreme example of Christy Henrich here, who died in 1994 with a weight of just 47lbs (around 21kg) after a long battle with anorexia nervosa as a result of pressures from her coach, various judges and international commentators to the sport. Or I could talk about Dominique Moceanu, superstar of the aforementioned Magnificent Seven hailed as “The Next Nadia“, who has spoken on numerous occasions about the abuse she endured by Károlyi and his wife, Martha, during her time training under them (Moceanu claims she was victim to constant verbal abuse and was allowed no more than 900 calories a day while training with the Károlyis). But we really needn’t look further than the current U.S. women’s team to see the real evidence. They may appear physically larger than the Chinese team, but the difference is marginal. This year at the Beijing National Indoor Stadium, you couldn’t blame a spectator for thinking they were at a Ms Fitness Kidz competition. Yet Károlyi still claims to know what real sixteen-year olds look like:

We are in the business of gymnastics and we know what a kid of 14 or 15 or 16 looks like. You don’t have to be a gymnastics coach to know what they look like at 16.

I should certainly hope not. In fact, Béla, I don’t think you have such a good idea yourself of what a sixteen-year old really looks and acts like at all, especially when the majority of your sixteen-year old students probably haven’t even started menstruating or developing breasts yet, what with the majority of their bodies no doubt plagued by injuries of overuse, and their parents probably considering gold medals and their children’s health mutually exclusive. Yeah, you must really get what it’s like to be a sixteen-year old girl these days!

I understand that not every gymnast is a prepubescent Little Miss Muscles, not every coach is a Károlyi and that not every parent is a gold-digger living vicariously through their offspring. But this year’s Beijing Olympics really show that the age-old (no pun intended) emphasis on petite stature and unhealthy body images in women’s gymnastics is as present as ever – and I’m not just pointing fingers at the Chinese here.

Béla Károlyi is splitting hairs. The important issue here is not simply the age of the women girls in elite gymnastics, but the various pressures put upon them (however legal or illegal by way of seemingly avoidable Olympics law) to look a certain way, eat a certain amount of food, be a certain height and win a certain number of medals as a result. While also true for a number of sports, women’s gymnastics for me remains at the top of the list of sports that need to be reassessed in terms of its values, training techniques and place in the competitive arena.

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29 Responses to “Hypocrite Károlyi Points Finger At Underage Chinese Gymnasts”

  1. steven said

    I haven’t watched much of the womens gymnastics this year, but falsified passports wouldnt’ surprise me – the Australian Junior Ice Hockey team is due to be presented with their bronze medals after Armenia falsified quite a few passports at this years World Championships.

    Would Strug not have competed on an injured ankle?
    I’d be surprised if she wouldn’t have done it, whether or not there was pressure from others. Sportspeople at a certain level do that sort of thing that you wouldn’t worry about at lower levels, you play through the broken foot/hand, torn ligament, etc – and then die once you get off and cool-down.
    That is the sort of toughness and determination it can take to win – I know if I had to choose between a possible medal with a worse injury, or not competing – I’d be (erm, have) asking the team doctor to strap me and shoot me up with whatever pain killers won’t get me in trouble with WADA (drug testers) and point me to the stadium.

    On the issue of weight, and female gymnastics – I don’t know what you could possibly do. Considering power to weight ratios, if the women were to be more ‘normal’ sized, they’d have to settle for not performing some of the most dificult feats – or upping the amount of power they can generate massively. So you’ll either get these ‘odd’ waifs-with-muscles, or you can have larger women who have managed to develop musculature like the men. So if boobs are an essential part of female body image, you’d still fail – it’s flat chests, or pecs.

    So, I agree that womens gymnastics in particular is a different world, and rife with problems related to ‘weird’ and potentially very destructive attitudes toward weight, size, etc I don’t know that you can create a major shift in that for the people aiming for elite competition. Perhaps counselling for off-season and upon retirement from competition may be of use to ‘debrief’ competitors.

    (It’d be interesting to hear the views of any highly competitive gymnasts who read this)

  2. James Gilbert said

    The Chinese and American women were competing on the same apparatus for each rotation. This meant you got to see the two standing next to each other quite a few times.

    With the coverage cutting from one team to the next you also got an idea of the comparitive size and maturity differences between the competitors.

    Regarding the US team to say “They may appear physically larger than the Chinese team, but the difference is marginal.” is complete junk. The US women looked like 16 year old young women. The Chinese looked 14 at best.

    Here are the team comparisons from the official Olympic website:
    http://results.beijing2008.cn/WRM/ENG/BIO/Team/9990657.shtml

    http://results.beijing2008.cn/WRM/ENG/BIO/Team/9990717.shtml

    Please note the dates of birth…isn’t it lucky to have 5 athletes just be 16 and the other 20. Nice divisble by 4 figures those. And check out Deng’s official picture…she looks lucky to be 12.

    To call Béla Károlyi racist for referring to the Chinese women’s team as “half people” is completely contemptible on your part. He is clearly referring to their age. Arguably not a great choice of words on his part but then not entirely unsurprising since English isn’t his first language. I accuse you of being a racist for your attack on him. Tough to defend against isn’t it? Not very pleasant to read either.

    Calling Béla Károlyi a hypocrite misses the point entirely. He is merely raising the issue about the Chinese women’s team’s age.

    If Bob Costas had raised the issue the presumably that would have been ok.

  3. Mary Lou said

    Why would you doubt the authenticity of Chinese passports. I think the Karoylis have succeeded turning an accusation into something more by whining enough about it.

  4. willard said

    Wow, China is doing werid shit to make this thing work. Wow, what a surprise!

  5. Sara Lewis said

    James: Thanks for your comment. It wasn’t the point of my article at all, but I pulled out the R-word because to me, it’s not just the Chinese team but a good number of the girls competing, from all over the world, that look like “half people” (with regard to the ages they appear). I’ll happily uphold that the difference is marginal because although the American gymnasts might appear much bigger on television, one look at those stats you linked to will show you that even those girls are far from the average height/weight for their ages, and though their BMIs may lie in the ‘safe’ zone, it is somewhat obvious to me (and has long been proven) that their bone growth has been stunted by the sport. That was the issue that I was getting at. Having grown up around it, I am still wary of gymnastics (and any sport for that matter) that impedes a young girl’s menarche, general development, and let’s not forget, can cause a profusion of unnecessary and often lifelong injuries- all in the name of a gold medal. Of course there are competitors who are probably just ‘naturally’ short in stature, but there is no denying that artistic gymnastics champions prepubescent bodies, and it’s no wonder that age-fixing and cheating tactics in the sport have taken centre stage as a result. And regarding Károlyi, I think it’s fair to call him a hypocrite here. If Bob Costas had made the remark then you’re right, I probably wouldn’t have lambasted him as harshly as I did Károlyi, but that’s because Bob Costas hasn’t himself committed the crime that he so ruthlessly decries.

    Steven: Cheers for commenting. RE Strug, I’ve no doubt that it takes toughness and determination to win, and I’m sure that often involves competing with injuries, but I suppose my problem here is the multitude of gym coaches, like Károlyi, that encourage it on a constant basis in training. To me, Strug’s achievement seemed somewhat emblematic of this. I was interested to read Alyssa Beckerman’s account of training under Mary Lee Tracy, who had her downing Advil, Vioxx and Celebrex, not to mention monthly cortisone shots. All of this at the age of 17, alongside a training schedule of over 10 hours a day with a daily consumption of less than 1,100 calories. Of course not all gyms coach their students with such mercilessness, but it’s interesting that so many gymnasts of such young ages have similar stories. I’ve forwarded the link to this article to a few ex-elite (or close to it) gymnasts I know and would also like to know their opinions on the matter.

    “Mary Lou Retton”: Béla will be upset about your treachery… you’ll never get an invite to his ranch again. Get back to your Wheaties box!

  6. Ally said

    The difference is marginal?

    Alicia Sacramone weighs 22 pounds more than the HEAVIEST Chinese gymnast and 49 pounds more than the lightest.

    Shawn Johnson, the lightest American gymnast weighs only 5 pounds more than the heaviest Chinese gymnast.

    The average weight of the Chinese Team is 77 pounds, and the average weight of the American Team is 106.5.

    I understand that Americans are typically larger people than Chinese, but 40% larger? Come on.

  7. Lina said

    “Americans are typically larger than Chinese” is an understatement. Americans are hugely larger than anyone else in the world.

    Yes, Americans are 40% bigger than Chinese people, if not even more. Obviously, the people making these comments have never been to Asia or seen much of the world outside the U.S. for that matter. I am American-born Chinese, and I can tell you my weight is similar to the weight of the U.S gymnastics team. I am a size “0” in the U.S, and a large, at best, anywhere in Asia.

    And let’s not get started with looks. I have a babyface, and I can get away with 7-8 years my age. Maybe in America, we are too used to precocious teenagers that look way older than their actual age, that the Chinese team looks so much younger in comparison. I don’t think anyone besides an Asian American, much less Bela, can make a judgment call on the Chinese team’s age/weight.

    Despite that, the remarks that Bela had made (as well as the other NBC commentators) were undiplomatic. I was highly disappointed (and angry) watching and listening to the NBC commentators accuse the competition as being rigged since it’s in the host country. Yes, gymnastics is about deductions, and ergo, highly subjective. But the start values will sometimes result in a perfectly high score despite some major mistakes. I think some of the viewers forget that. Bela may not be a hypocrite, nor a racist, but definitely biased.

  8. Ally said

    Lina,

    Perhaps you misunderstood my comments.

    First, and most importantly, I was disagreeing with Sara’s statement that the size difference between the American and Chinese gymnasts was “marginal”. A 40% size difference isn’t “marginal”.

    Secondly, I wasn’t comparing the average American to the average Chinese person. I was comparing the gymnasts on each country’s team. You are right that average Americans are probably 40% or more larger than average Chinese (and just about every other country), but gymnasts are hardly your average or typical people.

    I agree with you that you can’t always guess somebody’s age by how they look. For me, this isn’t about looks. Newspaper and website links stating these girls are 13 and 14 aside (reporters can make mistakes), the fact remains that a Chinese National Athletic registry showed one gymnast to be 13 and two others to be 14 just a few months before the Olympics, then their passports suddenly made all but one of the Team Members 16 years old.

    I do not support the treatment of gymnasts, I don’t care if Bela Karolyi is a hypocrite. None of these issues affect the fact that rules should be followed. That’s all.

  9. Kane said

    I must comment on this issue because Bela Karolyi was extremely hypocritical on this subject. I do agree that the Chinese gymnasts did not look like they were 16 years old. I also agree that Alicia Sacramone should have received the Bronze medal in the Vault routine instead of Cheng Fei.

    But I could agree no longer when he turned 180 degrees when it comes to the results of the Floor routine. If Sacramone was indeed robbed of her medal, then both Johnson and Liukin were robbed of their medals as well: a Gold and a Silver, yet Karolyi was suddenly mute on the issue. Absent was the fiery rage and passion that he felt for Sacramone when the scores were misjudged, where did all that passion go? Did Johnson and Liukin suddenly fall out of his favor? Or is it because the winning contestant was a Romanian? I’m a firm believer in doing the right thing, following rules to ensure fair competition, and pointing out hypocrites when they show their ugly little heads. In this case, Karolyi was one of the biggest hypocrites I’ve ever seen nationally televised. Shame on your Karolyi. For all your passionate exclaims for Team USA, you came out such a coward.

  10. Zach said

    Kane:

    Bela was disappointed and outraged when Alicia didn’t get the Bronze but Cheng Fei did even though she fell. He was outraged when Team USA lost the team final because to him, Team China did not look of age.

    He did not have a reason to be angry after the Floor routine. True, he is Romanian, but he really could not be angry at the results. Those three were the best, and the judging seemed to be fair. He really did not have anything to complain about. Of course, if it had been a member of the Chinese Team, he would have been angry and called them half people, but there have been no allegations against the Romanian Team, and to him, she won it fairly. Simply put, he is not a hypocrite in this case.

  11. Mitch said

    Forget Karolyi! Anyone with eyes and two brain cells to rub together can see that it’s all about national politics.

    Alicia Sacramone should have won the silver for the vault, end of discussion. That the girl who beat her landed on her knees, while she landed nearly perfect in comparison, is a slap in the face to those relative few in the world today with any common sense whatsoever.

    American women’s gymnastics was robbed several
    times and should, in my opinion be awarded medals of appropriate reflective hue just for putting up with the increasingly caustic stink of damnable political posturing under it’s many guises by the worlds ‘leaders’.

    But hey, what else is new?

    Mitch

  12. swmail said

    Watching Bela Károlyi on NBC makes me cringe. Being a Chinese American, I find his comments demeaning and racists.

    I am all for freedom of speech, but why does NBC let his rants go unchallenged? If he makes these allegations, shouldn’t someone question him on it? Instead, people like Bob Costas and Jim Lampley just sit there and nod in agreement with him. If they are going to have Károlyi do commentary, they should have another person on with an opposing point of view.

    In regards to the age of the Chinese gymnasts, I do agree that some of them do look a little young. But then again, Chinese people usually look a lot younger than most Americans. Plus the fact that the gymnast are so tiny, it makes them look even younger than they really are.

    Speaking from personal experience, I still get carded every time I buy alcohol or tobacco products. And I am a 36 years old who is married with 2 kids. I remember a few years ago when I went to see an “R” rated movie and the girl behind the ticket booth asked me for my ID because she didn’t think I was old enough to see the movie. Go figure.

    Did China falsify the passports? Perhaps. But the governing bodies for the Olympics reviewed and approved the documents for the Chinese to compete.

    Everyone is talking about the age of the Chinese gymnast, but why doesn’t anyone talk about the age of other gymnast from other countries? In my opinion, some of the other gymnast look a lot older than their listed age. For example, Bridget Sloan of the US is listed as being 16. But when I first looked at her, I think she could have passed for 30.

    And I totally agree with the post by Kane. My thoughts exactly.

  13. asdf asdf said

    Bela and his wife are the most vindictive, petty, biased people i’ve seen in these olympics so far.

    His wife was openly mocking and denigrating the chinese team during the competition. Bela, meanwhile, wants to rewrite history by making wild accusations he can’t prove. And if he can’t prove it, he shouldn’t be spewing his hate on national tv. It is revealing that he was all sugar and spice when it was either the US or Romanians who won.

    What ever happened to innocent until proven guilty. The INTERNATIONAL judges decided what they thought was the best. The IOC and Gym federation was satisfied with proof of chinese team age. Why does NBC allow these baffoons to denigrate competiting sportsman and women, opposite that of the olympic spirit. I’m all for ferreting out potential cheats in with proper procedure, but his comments was just plain ugly.

    And Shawn Johnson is shorter than half of the chinese team. She’s obviously heavier, but do not blindly attribute the slimness of the smaller chinese athletes to underage-ness. They obviously don’t eat a fat filled western diet with all the growth hormones and unnaturally high protein in their food. How many research papers have come out saying western girls are reaching puberty at a much earlier age?

    And about the chinese news paper reporting that one chinese gymnast was listed as 14 at some time. Well, GASP! My my, could a newspaper have made a mistake? Never!

    Phil Graham is right. America is mostly a bunch of whiners, and if we don’t quit whining and actually doing, we’re going to be eclipsed by the workaholic chinese and indians very shortly in things with much more serious consequences than sports.

    The the Karolyi’s are a most disgusting symptom of what’s wrong in America today.

    • Justice said

      Hey I would not start generalizing saying America is whining. Saying that is as low as (to your terms) what Karolyi said. Can you guess the hypocrite now? Look I highly doubt what he said was racist I mean once someone finishs a sentence you may not understand because it may be laid out metaphorically don’t call them racist. It is your opinion and I can not change that but please hear me out. He meant by half people by their age meaning that they are to young. Come on people they did look to young and you can not expect someone to not say something. Ok I agree the Chinese won fair and square but that doesn’t mean they are of age I mean tons of people fake their age in many competitions. Tell me why would he be vindictive or in other words wanting revenge. I would not make such accusations. And also you and your accusations are contradicting eachother you say “innocent till proven guilty” but your are lying to yourself. You are falsely accusing someone of lying,being petty, and being vindictive while you have no absolute evidence other then misinterpreting a statement and blowing it out of terms. What is wrong with America is not that we are whiners but that people go against the fifth amendment in our constitution that is what makes me sad oh PS did you see karolyis wife with nastia at 2012 olympic trials and how she comforted nastia when she didn’t make the team? I didn’t think so

  14. interested party said

    When this is all over and the athletes are all home. The IOC and FIG need to truly investigate each and every claim and verify the truth, whatever it is. Honestly, in the end, I believe the Chinese to be guilty, and that the IOC will strip them of ANY medal that was won by an “altered age” athlete. Including the TEAM events. I also think that the Chinese should be banned for the next 8 years (2 complete Olympics). I also think they should NOT be allowed to host ANY World Class event for at least 4 years IF not longer. It really looks as if the Chinese have decided that the entire world is just stupid, I for one do NOT like be told that I am stupid. DO YOU????

  15. Mark said

    Most Communists Nations lie, cheat and steal. Many communists people do not know their age. Most Coaches are abusive by today’s standard. In America we have a choice to walk away if we do not believe the abuse is worth the goal. The public can recognize unfair judging, half age people and steroid abuse. In the end, one has to look in the mirror and face the reality of the acheivement and live with it.

  16. Danny said

    This whole discussion is silly. The issue is not that Karolyi made inappropriate comments. The issue is not that he did the same thing with his gymnasts in the past. This is about THESE games and the fairness and sportsmanship that are supposed to be the hallmark of the Olympic Games. The issue is that the rules that apply to the sport have been broken. No way out of it….it’s cheating. I find it amazing that the IOC is essentially “winking” at the discrepancies. They don’t do that with drug testing. No “winking” there. They stripped the bronze medal from the wrestler who showed unsportsmanlike behavior because his behavior was unacceptable. This contradicts the spirit of the Games. Just because China is the host country does not mean that they should receive special treatment with regard to the eligibility of their athletes.

  17. Harmony and Peace said

    I am a Chinese American. To be honest I also had doubt about the some of the girls’ age, but now I have to give the benefit of the doubt after seeing the following documentary. The video documents the ‘Road to Beijing 2008′ what starts with China won the hosting right. About 10 mins into the video is the selection process of the girls’ gymnatics team back in 2003. One of the first thing stated in that particular clip is the age limitation (reach 16 during the Olympic year). So the who selection pool of girls were based on this. I have not seen the whole video but I do see Jiang Yuyuan (12 at the time) and Deng Lingling (11 at the time) who are the two girls in the midst of age controversy. By the way the video is in Chinese so you probably need some to interpret for you. Anyway take it as what it’s worth.

    http://news.wenxuecity.com/BBSView.php?SubID=news&MsgID=677520

  18. Guo said

    I have seen in the subtitle listing a Russian Gymnast as 15. Why there is no complain about that? Whether they won or not is another issue. The fact then is that they are also cheating, except they did not benefit from it. Why there is no humiliating and demeaning comments on that? I bet, if Chinese did not win either, Bela would say, look at these poor little half people, cannot even win after cheating. Of course, NBC is more than happy to hear that, that is why they hire him.

  19. Guo said

    It is clear to me that Bela has extremely negative emotion about Chinese people, which is of course is his freedom. The question is, why the freedom of speech only goes one way? Why the opposite comments do not get a chance to be heard as well? Was he the result of NBC’s effort in identifying such a person?

  20. Mike said

    stop all the hate, celebrate like the Jamaicans together when you win on a sweep and not like the americans crying because everyone wanted a gold medal…take a chance during this games to look beyond your 3.000.000 square miles and get to know the rest of the world at least from your tv or pc like any other good couch potato. you might even get to be 50% larger.

  21. Peter Truong said

    All it comes from jealousy. Bela may need to take physiology 101 course.

  22. Jake 'L said

    Just as the Americans can say the Chinese faked the documentation, why can’t it be the Americans who faked the documentation to point fingers at the Chinese? China has a population of 1.3 billion, and hordes of eager talented gymnasts waiting for a chance to go on the Olympic stage. I really don’t think they need to fake the ages of their gymnasts when they have to field selection rounds to pick their Olympic team.

    I mean, seriously, can you really take anything you see on the internet as fact? The internet is one of the most unreliable sources of information, and I won’t be surprised if the ages of gymnasts are misstated, through genuine human error or otherwise.

  23. Becca L said

    As someone who has been involved with gymnastics from a very young age until my late teens I can say, without hesitation, that the sport has a ridiculous and long-lasting effect on a young body – whether you’re working to an elite standard or not. I don’t think I grew much between the ages of 12 and 16 – when everyone else at school was spurting skywards – and I am still carrying the leftovers of my stunted growth into my 20’s in the form of a back injury (even though at 5’7″ I’m a ‘normal’ height now). And forget about breasts – they didn’t develop for years (although now they seem to have found their way with a vengeance). I love the sport with a passion, but I am truly grateful that I was never pushed by anyone, coaches (most of them) or parents, to do more than I wanted to do. But it sure as hell had its moments. Like the time a coach let everyone else on the squad have two pieces of cake for a birthday, but it was only one piece for myself and another girl because we “needed to trim down”. I think I weighed about 45kg at the time. Or the time another coach tied a piece of string – tight – around my then 8-year-old friend’s stomach and then proceeded to point out how much she was “blobbing” out over the top. Needless to say we all developed some sort of unhealthy relationship with food and exercise at some point in our lives.
    Karolyi has to be the biggest hypocrite in all of this because he’s guilty of all of this type of behaviour and more in the past, making a fair share of his young proteges into “half-people” (in terms of size and what not). Sara has already pointed out a few things his ex-gymnasts have come forward with since retiring, and it surprises me that he is still allowed to coach. Ditto for other coaches that do the same. Where are the regulations and governing bodies that are supposed to oversee the sport? Why are the coaches and their techniques not put under the spotlight? Because they bring home the medals, and that’s all that matters in the end.
    The falsifying of passports does also not surprise me. Not in a sport where some coaches think it’s alright to get their young gymnasts pregnant to make the most of the enhanced hormones flowing through their muscles, then aborting the foetuses before they get too big.
    My advice, don’t let your kid become a gymnast…because they could be good at it. And then what will you do?

  24. Sara Lewis said

    Becca – RE: getting young gymnasts pregnant for hormones/aborting the baby…. what?!?!?!!!

  25. Gymnastics Coaching » Blog Archive » are age falsification acusers hypocrites? said

    [...] loudest accuser, Bela Károlyi, was called a hypocrite by [...]

  26. Becca L said

    Yep, according to an old coach of mine (from Russia) that is what happened with a few of her teammates back in the 1970s. I have also heard about it on a couple of documentaries….I don’t know how prevalent it is these days though, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s disgusting.

  27. I probably wouldn’t have lambasted him as harshly as I did Károlyi, but that’s because Bob Costas hasn’t himself committed the crime that he so ruthlessly decries.

  28. HelloIa said

    Hey I would not start generalizing saying America is whining. Saying that is as low as (to your terms) what Karolyi said. Can you guess the hypocrite now? Look I highly doubt what he said was racist I mean once someone finishs a sentence you may not understand because it may be laid out metaphorically don’t call them racist. It is your opinion and I can not change that but please hear me out. He meant by half people by their age meaning that they are to young. Come on people they did look to young and you can not expect someone to not say something. Ok I agree the Chinese won fair and square but that doesn’t mean they are of age I mean tons of people fake their age in many competitions. Tell me why would he be vindictive or in other words wanting revenge. I would not make such accusations. And also you and your accusations are contradicting eachother you say “innocent till proven guilty” but your are lying to yourself. You are falsely accusing someone of lying,being petty, and being vindictive while you have no absolute evidence other then misinterpreting a statement and blowing it out of terms. What is wrong with America is not that we are whiners but that people go against the fifth amendment in our constitution that is what makes me sad oh PS did you see karolyis wife with nastia at 2012 olympic trials and how she comforted nastia when she didn’t make the team? I didn’t think so

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