Site Meter

Friday, August 22, 2008

Look Too Young? Blame it on Race!

This excerpt from "Gymnasts’ parents 'indignant' over age questions"
By NANCY ARMOUR and JOHN LEICESTER, Associated Press Writers (See full article at

"China coach Lu Shanzan said the parents are 'indignant' over persistent questions about their daughters’ ages.

'It’s not just me. The parents of our athletes are all very indignant,' Lu said. 'They have faced groundless suspicion. Why aren’t they believed? Why are their children suspected? Their parents are very angry.'

In an interview with The Associated Press, Lu said Asian gymnasts are naturally smaller than their American and European rivals.

'At this competition, the Japanese gymnasts were just as small as the Chinese,' he said. 'Chinese competitors have for years all been small. It is not just this time. It is a question of race [emphasis added]. European and American athletes are all powerful, very robust. But Chinese athletes cannot be like that. They are by nature that small.'"

My comment: Of course, while this is consistent with most folks' essentialist view of race, it flies in the face of the social constructionist view, as well as all biologicical evidence about the superficial nature of race, having little to do with genetic differences in physical abilities and characteristic. What do you think? Maybe I'm being racist, but many of the Chinese female gymnasts sure look 13 or 14 to me.

No comments: