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<  The Olympics  ~  Chinese Women's Gymnast: Age Discrepancy Like Yi Jianlian

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:30 pm
Posts: 135Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 12:16 pm
Now that Americans have won the gold and silver, we consider the age problem is over. But remember, you bribed the judges that almost costed us the medals. So don't do it again :twisted:


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:40 pm
Posts: 1373Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2004 9:36 am
yawn.........the best gymnasts won and that's all there is to it......the 14 age rule is not in place because they feel less pressure, it's in place so kids dont have to get run down by coaches who want them to be ready by 14

that being said, if you're so upset one country's using underaged kids.....then dont bother to show up......if you're going to a sword fight, knowing someone is using guns......who's gonna be sorry for you when you get shot? not me


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:46 pm
Posts: 10073Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2004 7:10 pm
Yiao wrote:
Now that Americans have won the gold and silver, we consider the age problem is over. But remember, you bribed the judges that almost costed us the medals. So don't do it again :twisted:


lay off the crack pipe

Shawn Johnson's coach is Beijing native Liang Chow, former chinese national champion

requires registration so here's the text:

Quote:
Chow's long gymnastics march
Darren Josephson - The Daily Iowan
Issue date: 8/1/08 Section: Sports

It has been more than 10 years since Liang Chow has been able to take a vacation. He says he cannot afford it.

But Chow is not talking about affording in the monetary sense. Instead, he cannot afford to leave the athletes he trains for any extended period of time.

Chow is the owner and operator of Chow's Gymnastics and Dance Institute in West Des Moines. A former Iowa gymnastics coach originally from Beijing, he is the head coach of the U.S. women's gymnastics team, which will be in his hometown for the 2008 Summer Olympics.

His prized pupil is 16-year-old Shawn Johnson, also from Des Moines. She will head to Beijing with hopes of bringing back the gold medal in the women's all-around competition.

For the last 10 years, Johnson, under Chow's tutelage, has slowly climbed the gymnastic ranks, and she now finds herself as the favorite to win gold in this summer's Games. As the world's top female gymnast, Johnson came in first in the U.S. Olympic trials in June and is the reigning world and national all-around champion.

Her energetic smile and Midwestern charm has not gone unnoticed by the media or the long list of international sponsors she has signed with. She will no doubt be one of the most covered stories of this year's Olympiad, because women's gymnastics is traditionally one of the highest-rated events of the games.

Johnson has handled the media attention with exceptional ease, considering her young age. Sheryl Shade, the agent for both Chow and Johnson, specializes in Olympic athletes and offers this analysis as to how a teenager like Johnson can remain so well-balanced in her long run towards the Beijing Games.

"Shawn is like a little ninja warrior," Shade said. "She's very competitive, and it's as much mental as physical. She's a very smart, very cerebral kid, but her secret weapon is Chow."

Her training with Chow has no doubt been a trek. Chow, too, has taken a journey, one that began when he was a young boy in Beijing and that will culminate when he returns to China after a 16-year hiatus.

The beginning of a long journey

At the age of 5, Chow was enrolled in gymnastics class by his father. However, he was promptly asked to leave, Chow said, because his discipline level was not what it should have been.

"I just had too much energy to listen to the instructors, so I got kicked out," he said, under a muffled laugh.

Two years later, his father sent him to another gym, where at the age of 7, Chow had matured enough to start listening to his coaches and instructors. In his first year there, he came in fourth place in the all-around in Beijing, a city that is densely packed with over-achieving young gymnasts.

By the age of 10, he was a Chinese national champion, his first in a career in which he went on to win a bronze medal for China in the 1989 world championships. He was also a co-captain of the national team, which won 36 international gold medals.

In 1991, Chow met current Iowa men's gymnastics head coach Tom Dunn at the America's Cup. The two men became friends, and one year later, Chow accepted a scholarship to the UI to study English and coach gymnastics.

It was a tough transition for Chow, who spoke no English at the time and had a different picture of America in his mind from what he encountered in the rolling hills of Iowa.

"I'm a big-city boy; I came from Beijing. You don't expect such a small town," Chow said. "You think the U.S. is big, more like New York, but I really liked it."

Learning to cook was one of the hardest things for a boy who grew up with all his meals provided by his gymnastics academy. He didn't even know where to start in the kitchen. Dunn and a few others helped him to adjust, but Chow still admits that was the one thing he really missed about Beijing - the food.

He remained in Iowa, and he has embraced the small-town lifestyle.

"I feel it is home for me, because of the education and the style of living," he said. "We have everything the big city can offer, and we don't have the traffic headaches. Everywhere you go, people are especially nice. I am enjoying my life so much and my career."

After seven-and-a-half years of coaching both men's and women's gymnastics for the Hawkeyes, Chow knew it was time to move on.

"I had a great experience there, but after a while, I realized that if I wanted to pursue a higher level that I would have to start the kids at a younger age," he said. "That's why my wife and I decided to open our own gym. So you can start fresh with all the necessary foundation-building."

After surveying numerous cities around the United States in which to open his new gym, including bigger metropolitan areas that could afford him a larger pool of students to choose from, Chow decided to remain in Iowa and build his gym in Des Moines.

"I would have stayed in Iowa City, but it was too small of a population for my business," he said. "I visited a few places around the country, but I decided Des Moines was the best place for me because of the quality of life here and the environment and the education. And best of all people are simply nice.

"I feel like there is no way for me to leave Iowa now."

Meeting the golden child

Shortly after Chow's Gymnastics and Dance Institute opened in West Des Moines, a bouncy little 6-year-old with missing teeth enrolled. Fast forward 10 years, and that girl is now the top female gymnast in the world with a chance to win gold in Beijing. The teeth have filled in, and the energy and enthusiasm have remained. Chow recalls their first meeting.

"Shawn was one of my first students, right after I opened the door. She was 6 years old and a lovely little girl with lots of energy," he said. "She just loved the gym and all the training. She was willing to take corrections and just improve every day."

Chow's wife, Li Zhuang, is Johnson's coach as well. Both Chow and Li have overseen Johnson's training since the beginning. Chow focuses on the vault and the bars, while Li focuses on the floor routine.

"In other words, she's on the pretty side, I'm on the tumbling side," Chow said, with another playful chuckle.

The relationship between Johnson and her coaches is as much that of student to teacher as it is child to second parents. The pride can be detected in Chow's voice as he tells a story about Johnson's first level-10 championship, an event that Li was not able to attend.

"This is what kind of person she is. This is how beautiful she is," he said. "After she took the gold medal from the podium, she came over to me. She says, 'Chow, I want you to know that this medal is for Li.' "

Johnson was just 12 at the time.

"We are not only proud that we have the No. 1 gymnast in the entire world," Chow said. "She is just a great all-around wonderful person."

The Daily Iowan attempted to contact Johnson, but Chow asked that she not speak to individual members of the media in the midst of her final preparation for the Beijing Games.

Getting his gymnasts prepared

Chow is also known for some unorthodox training techniques. He has been known to apply heat to certain injuries where others might apply ice. In addition, he trains his athletes for considerably less time in each session.

"Most elite gymnasts train 30-40 hours a week; we only train 25 hours a week," said Jessa Hansen, a student of Chow's and an incoming freshman at Iowa. "We train fewer hours, but our practices are really intense."

That intensity Hansen speaks of in practice can often be seen in Chow's glare when things are not going as planned. Asked about that infamous glare, Hansen said:

"That means you better step up your game, you better fix whatever you are doing wrong, because you know that he's not happy when he does that face."

Hopefully, that glare will be a rare site in Beijing. Chow is confident that success will be attainable as well. Although he openly declares such confidence in Johnson, his tone does not convey any measure of cockiness or arrogance.

Rather, he speaks of the preparation they have put in.

"Li and I are very confident about going to Beijing," Chow said. "Shawn's success has not come over night. It has been built on a daily basis. Her strongest competition will be herself.

"If she can perform normally, I think she can stay on top. I think she has a very strong foundation leading up to Beijing. That's why we are so confident at this point."

Coming full circle

In addition to looking forward to the Olympic competitions, Chow is excited about returning to China for the first time in 16 years. He anticipates reuniting with family members he has not seen since he left, and he will be proud to coach the U.S. women's gymnastics team in China.

"I am very excited to come back to Beijing, because I was a successful athlete [in Beijing] and I learned all my gymnastics [there]," he said. "Not only do I have a great student on my hands, I also want to show people the success I've had in the U.S."

Coming back to China, not only as Johnson's individual coach, but as the head coach of the U.S. women's gymnastics team, will be a celebrated homecoming for Chow.

And as a former national-champion athlete returning to China for the first time while coaching China's fiercest gymnastics rival, the United States, he said he doesn't feel that is an issue.

"The head coach of the Chinese national team and I are good friends," he said. "We handle this situation very professionally. Competition is competition. Friendship is friendship; it is totally different.

"We are not politicians. We are just trying to help other athletes bring home the gold."

He is also quick to disavow any political implications with the Olympic Games.

"Unfortunately, you see some politics get involved with the Olympic Games," he said. "I think we should give the athletes the best opportunity to do their jobs, because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for them. We should be very serious about all the possibilities for the athletes."

Politics and podium position aside, Chow's return to China will be the completion of a long round trip. From the 5-year-old boy who was kicked out of his first gymnastics class to a Chinese national champion to one of the greatest coaches in the sport, Chow will come full circle as he returns to Beijing with his smiling and energetic student favored to win gold by his side.

Then, once the Games are over and the athletes have returned home, he thinks he will finally be able to afford that vacation. He might take his family to Hawaii.

Asked if he would be taking a gold medal with him, Chow responded with another short laugh:

"Hopefully, we will take one or more gold medals," he said. "I wouldn't mind."


so russian immigrant won gold, coach of the silver medalist is also an immigrant

there was also a story about how Shawn calls Chow her "second dad" and she had chinese lettering on some of her competition suits to honor him.

here's the community helping to save his gym from the floods

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZ2t8VL5 ... re=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0DuBn4e ... re=related


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:47 pm
User avatarPosts: 3614Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2003 8:48 pm
ThePrivate wrote:
china got better team, that american girl fell off beam no one push her then she and that other girl couldnt stay in bounds and she fell on her jlo booty. china girls look like preteens tho. that american sacramento girl that fell all the time look hot when mad at herself. for small girl she got jlo booty.


Actually, the Americans got one bad seed which cost them the gold in team competition, both Johnson and Luikin are better as far as overall strength goes. No wonder they won gold and silver in all around competition.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:49 pm
Posts: 8236Location: GuangxiJoined: Wed Nov 10, 2004 10:14 pm
pryuen wrote:
shokenchi wrote:
usa finished 1 and 2 in womens all around. it was a tight race until the end. congrats to nastia liukin for beating her rival shawn johnson. china got third, which is best result for chinese women, being only 3rd chinese women to medal in the olympics.


I think you meant only the 3rd Chinese women to medal in the All Round discipline of gymnastics in the Olympics..... :roll:

u know wat i mean by reading the whole paragraph. zhang nan won bronze in the all around and liu xuan won bronze when some romanian chicked got dqed for using some cough medicine.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:53 pm
Posts: 10073Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2004 7:10 pm
robWu wrote:
yawn.........the best gymnasts won and that's all there is to it......the 14 age rule is not in place because they feel less pressure, it's in place so kids dont have to get run down by coaches who want them to be ready by 14

that being said, if you're so upset one country's using underaged kids.....then dont bother to show up......if you're going to a sword fight, knowing someone is using guns......who's gonna be sorry for you when you get shot? not me


if you go around shooting people, you'll end up in jail. that's the thing. americans dont all look at the olympics like a gun fight... maybe that explains why chinese will cheat or condone cheating to win if they look at it that way

the chinese girls did awesome but if you're going to be totally honest if the US didn't ****** up china would not have won. that's not to take anything away from the chinese since they executed when it counted and if you choke you deserve to lose anyways.

but you all acting like cheating is okay is LOL.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:59 pm
Posts: 1930Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 8:32 pm
temuchin wrote:
robWu wrote:
yawn.........the best gymnasts won and that's all there is to it......the 14 age rule is not in place because they feel less pressure, it's in place so kids dont have to get run down by coaches who want them to be ready by 14

that being said, if you're so upset one country's using underaged kids.....then dont bother to show up......if you're going to a sword fight, knowing someone is using guns......who's gonna be sorry for you when you get shot? not me


if you go around shooting people, you'll end up in jail. that's the thing. americans dont all look at the olympics like a gun fight... maybe that explains why chinese will cheat or condone cheating to win if they look at it that way

the chinese girls did awesome but if you're going to be totally honest if the US didn't ****** up china would not have won. that's not to take anything away from the chinese since it's a part of the game but everyone acting like cheating is okay is LOL


dude STFU already. The only reason why the Chinese won was because the Americans F'd up, and the Chinese just performed better that night. Age had nothing to do with the Americans falling on their azz... Being "younger" didn't help China...

The Americans fell and lost points.. That's all there is to it.. How did they cheat? Did they pay off the judges? Did they put oil on the bars/floors to make the US gymnast fall?


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 11:01 pm
Posts: 10073Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2004 7:10 pm
learn to read

then post


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 11:27 pm
Posts: 1930Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 8:32 pm
hahaha. Jiang YuYuan age isn't disputed right now since she fell on her butt..

Proves my point... hahaha.. Why aren't they crying about her age?

They are basing it on "looks".. Look at Natsia from the US.. Does she look 19? nope.

-----------

if the US gymnast wins the individual, you won't hear the age thing come up... China is falling and isn't in the top 5,, so guess what, no mentions of the age yet. haha


Last edited by bamboodragon on Thu Aug 14, 2008 11:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 11:34 pm
Posts: 1373Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2004 9:36 am
temuchin wrote:
robWu wrote:
yawn.........the best gymnasts won and that's all there is to it......the 14 age rule is not in place because they feel less pressure, it's in place so kids dont have to get run down by coaches who want them to be ready by 14

that being said, if you're so upset one country's using underaged kids.....then dont bother to show up......if you're going to a sword fight, knowing someone is using guns......who's gonna be sorry for you when you get shot? not me


if you go around shooting people, you'll end up in jail. that's the thing. americans dont all look at the olympics like a gun fight... maybe that explains why chinese will cheat or condone cheating to win if they look at it that way

the chinese girls did awesome but if you're going to be totally honest if the US didn't ****** up china would not have won. that's not to take anything away from the chinese since they executed when it counted and if you choke you deserve to lose anyways.

but you all acting like cheating is okay is LOL.


look....did the american's care one bit when the judge's F'ed up the Japanese gymnast's starting score which allowed hamm to take gold?? no......but now they'll complain.......if the girl didnt fall (.8 deduction for each fall) China still would have won.......think about it......even after that girl fell, the other US girl's really had no pressure since they knew they had no shot at gold......and they still all stepped out of bounds.........all i hear is excuses......not only was china too young........the us gymnast had to wait too long when we clearly saw the day before Yang Wei was always waiting forever...........if age is an issue, they should've pressed on it like crazy from the very beginning, not only when you lose......if the US coach wasnt so busy telling her team "look at those babies...etc etc" they might've been more focused and not fallen or stepped out.


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