ESPN: At last year’s China’s Cities Games, Chinese officials decided to move He Kexin, who won two gold medals during the Beijing Games, from a local team to the national team. China’s deputy sports minister Cui Dalin said Sunday that it was during this transfer that a “misunderstanding appeared” about her age. It was at last year’s China’s Cities Games that the Chinese government’s news agency, Xinhua, identified He as one of “10 big new stars” who made a splash at the event and gave her age as 13 in a Nov. 3, 2007 report. If the age reported by Xinhua was correct, that would have meant He was too young to be on the Chinese team that beat the United States to clinch China’s first women’s team Olympic gold in gymnastics.
Cui’s explanation comes as officials from the International Gymnastics Federation pored over documents in hopes of putting to rest, once and for all, persistent questions about the ages of all but one member of the six-person team. Chinese gymnastics officials handed over passports, ID cards and family residence permits after the FIG — at the request of the International Olympic Committee — asked for additional documentation on He, Yang Yilin, Jiang Yuyuan, Deng Linlin and Li Shanshan. Gymnasts must turn 16 during the Olympic year to be eligible. Some media reports and online documents have suggested they could be as young as 14. MORE