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Too much, too young for Olympic gymnasts?


Cheng FeiThe more I watch the women’s gymnastics competitions the more I’m torn between amazement at┬áthe athleticism on display and horror at what can seem at times like cruel and unusual punishment.

Most elite athletes put themselves through gruelling training regimes — not to mention the mental toll that the stress of competition must take — but few are quite so young as the women’s gymnasts

The gymnastics federation states that competitors must turn 16 in an Olympic year but even assuming that rule has been steadfastly adhered to it still means they are putting their bodies through intensive training by 10 or 12.

Most of the gymnasts I’ve spoken to say they’re having a great time and just being in the competition and giving their best is what matters.