On the ages of the female Chinese gymnasts

I haven't watched any gymnastics, live or on TV; don't follow the sport; and have no opinion on how old members of various teams look and how much that matters.

But this new post, from the Stryde Hax blog, does an impressive technical job of finding information that has not yet been removed from caches of official Chinese sites. At face value it makes a strong circumstantial case that one of the gymnasts, the double gold-medalist He Kexin, was born in 1994 rather than 1992, making her 14.


The post also includes links to two cached screenshots of Chinese birth records that, for now, still exist. (Many others have been very recently removed.) See them here and here.  No harm in saving or printing a screen shot..... These are Chinese charts that show name, sex, date of birth, place of birth. The name in question is 何可欣, and one of the lines where it appears says:


(# 618, He Kexin, female, Jan 1 1994, Hubei)

Worth further looking into.  A very nice touch is that Stryde Hax shows us all his work, so the searches are checkable.  (Thanks to John Scott and of course Slashdot.)

Update: Really, I don't care about gymnastics! And as noted before I'm delighted that China is doing so well in these games, and sorry about Liu Xiang. What interests me in this case is the technical sleuthery of the guy who found the cached pages, and the deeper issue of "transparency" in the Chinese system. Revising public records is not something Chinese people or outsiders should want to see.