I said before that I thought the age limit should be eliminated from the gymnastics competition and I am here today to blog: I take that back.
I did a little research and learned just why the officials put an age limit to a spectacular sport.
When a girl goes through puberty her sense of balance changes because of the new developments in her body, such as increase in height and weight, breast development, etc. Many of the Chinese girls are suspected to be as young as 10 or 11, while countries like Germany have 33 year-olds competing in the same events. The balance is going to differ significantly between the ages. By setting the age limit at 16 this ensures that the girls have begun to develop, therefore all have a new sense of balance.
Once I realized this I began to watch closer and not only is it obvious the Chinese girls have not developed, but you can tell the difference in balance. I know it seems impossible to tell, but the younger girls have a much easier time sticking their landings and not falling forwards, to the side, etc. While they do sometimes fall (no one is perfect…well, except maybe Nadia Comaneci) there is definitely an advantage to competing at a younger age.
With all of that in mind, I have decided that the age limit is a good idea. Now, if only we could get the FIG (International Gymnastics Federation) and the IOC (International Olympic Committee) to do their jobs and make the competitors stick to the rules…