CHEATERS!


It seems the Chinese might be trying to pull a Danny Almonte on the women’s gymnastics portion of the Olympics.

Only this time, it’s about being too young.

Questions have been raised about whether two of the Chinese athletes are under 16, the minimum age requirement for participation. Some believe one of China’s gold-medal favorites — He Kexin — is 14. Chinese officials have produced passports (wink, wink) that verify all its team members are at least 16, but I’m not sure any document smeared with WHITEOUT should be accepted.

This could be a bad thing for the U.S. women. China stands in the way of the Americans winning a team gold. How can our little pixies who are responsible for much of any good ratings NBC receives during the next 17 days be expected to overcome smaller, lighter, younger, more daring opponents?

“I can tell you one thing,” said U.S. veteran team member Alicia Sacramone. “When you’re younger, you don’t have to wake up and wonder how many ice packs you’re going to need that day. It’s a little easier to get through your numbers, but with experience, you don’t need as many numbers. With youth, you need more numbers to get into a routine mode.”

It’s times like these I really wish I knew what numbers meant.

Either way, Sacramone is growing on me. She has some moxie to her and is unlike most women gymnasts when being interviewed, which means she doesn’t make watching paint dry seem thrilling.

Take her response when asked why someone from her sport almost always emerges as America’s sweetheart of the Games.

“Gymnasts are always the center of attention because they’re talented and are in medal contention and they’re probably cute, if that matters,” Sacramone said.

So gymnasts are cuter than other athletes?

“I didn’t say that. We may think it, but I didn’t say it.”

Moxie. I like that.