I did not say I am not "proud" to be an American - What I said is that comments like that make me feel ashamed to be called an American - that is my own personal feelings & I am entitled to them. gymdog & gym mum very eloquently described why this was not a funny, or amusing comment to make, and I agree wholeheartedly.
As to this issue, I personally think (my opinion) is that all of the "their cheating" shout outs is all based on assumption. There is no proof that any of the gymnasts that particapated are underage. If they were deceptive then they will be dealt with accordingly. IMO this so called "un-investigation" is just a little too late. There are no new facts to report. There is also more to the story that most don't realize because they only pay attention to bits and pieces of these news releases - for instance: the issue with He's age being listed as 11 or 12 in 2006 could actually be related to her age being LOWERED to participate in inner-city games. I am not calling that fact, or that it would be considered right, but if that is the case then her age discrepancy would not be relative to the Olympic games.
As to the US and this never happening here... I guarantee that there are competitions that are particapated in where parents or clubs have deceptively changed an age to compete, or compete in a different age group.
About falsifying birth certificates in the US. This is a very personal story, but I wanted to show that it is not completely impossible. Keep in mind I was a teenager at this time for bashing purposes.... My dad decided he wanted to change my little sisters name (for untold reasons) , walked into the county office (outside of Sacto nonetheless) told them my little sis had ben born outside of a hospital & he needed to register her birth - she was 2 at the time. He walked out with a fresh ready to sign stamped document, brought it back for me to sign as her mother, and brought it back to them for official registration. Her name, DOB, and parents were changed and it was now a completely legal birth certificate - it took him an hour.
Your missing the whole point. Its not that no Americans cheat, its that the American government doesn't help the athletes cheat or force them to do so.
Its one thing to change your birth certificate for personal reasons, in another thing intierly for the US government to change your birth certificate so you could cheat in the olympics. Thats what the comment meant, people in other countries say fat people live in America, are you offended by that? Because thats a racial comment as well. I don't think any child would think only fat people live in the US or all fat people live in the US. The comment should have been cheaters run China, not cheaters live in China.
But I do hope the IOC gets to the bottom of this age controversy because it is damaging the credibility of gymnastics, which is otherwise utterly beyond reproach and never subject to the manipulation of biased or petty judges. That, of course, is due to the straightforward and easily understood scoring system that is such a hit with viewers.
''Americans just don't believe in placing that kind of pressure on children.''
What a load of rubbish!! The age limit was enforced in the first place because countries (America being one of them) push young kids on difficult skills far too quickly (for example round-off flic at four years old!!)