publius shawn johnson
As I get mentally prepared for the gymnastics competition tonight, I had a question for those of you who actually know something about gymnastics.
As I'm sure you've heard, one of the big Olympic controversies is that the Chinese gymnasts appear to be 6 years old. So here's the question -- is being too young actually a net benefit? Does it really provide a competitive advantage?
In my expert opinion, it seems like a mixed bag. While I'm sure I could do better on the balance beam if I weighed 67 pounds, I suspect being that small would hurt in other events. For instance, being tiny seems to be a disadvantage on the uneven bars. And I imagine you need more strength to do better at the vault.
That said, I suppose having underage gymnasts helps in the team competition (where you can pick and choose who does what), but provides less of an advantage in the individual all-around.
But to say I'm ignorant about this stuff is too generous to me. Does anyone know? (On an aside, I love how everyone becomes a self-appointed gymnastics expert for about one week every four years).