Thursday, August 14, 2008

Gender confusion in gymnastics

Sports Illustrated reports that Chinese gymnast He Kexin may have been two years too young to be eligible for the Olympics. That's fine. No problem. My problem is the clash between Chinese names and English pronouns. It is a little jarring to read sentences like these referring to a teenage girl:

He is also a favorite for gold in Monday's uneven bars final.

A May 23 story in the China Daily newspaper, the official English-language paper of the Chinese government, said He was 14.

But worst of all:

He herself told reporters after Wednesday's final that "my real age is 16. I don't pay any attention to what everyone says."

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