Well, the Committee has finally acted. A couple of months ago, the International Gymnastics Federation ruled that one Chinese gymnast was 14 at the time she competed, well under the 16-years-old lower limit. So the IOC stripped China of its women's gymnastics bronze medal in the all-around competition, since the young lady was now considered ineligible and none of her marks could be counted.
But wait a second, you say. There's an incorrect piece of information in the middle of that paragraph. The Chinese women's gymnastics team won the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing games, not the bronze. The U.S. team didn't finish fourth, they actually won the silver medal.
Well, you are correct, but so am I. The Chinese gymnast in question, Dong Fangxiao, didn't compete in the 2008 games, but if she had she would have been plenty old enough -- 22, to be exact. She'd have been old enough for the 2004 games in Athens, too. No, the IOC has taken the bold step of disqualifying the Chinese women's team of the 2000 Olympic Games held in Sydney, Australia, a mere decade after the event. How long ago is this in women's gymnastics terms? The U.S. team at the Sydney games featured Dominique Dawes and Amy Chow, members of the "Magnificent Seven" team that won the first ever U.S. gold in the all-around, in Atlanta in 1996. Ms. Dawes was also a member of the bronze-medalist team at the 1992 Barcelona games, held the year that the youngest legal competitors of 2008 were born. At this rate, if I have not run out of airport novels to review or grouchy things to say by 2018, I may be able to report a similar reconsideration of the Beijing results.
Ms. Dong may have the last laugh in any event; she's now a resident of New Zealand and should she and her husband want more than one child no law prevents it. They probably won't have to try to remember more than one birthday per kid, either.