Meeting Chinese gymnast? Like jail visiting hour

Return To Article

Commenting has temporarily been suspended in preparation for our new website launch, which is planned for the week of August 12th. When the new site goes live, we will also launch our new commenting platform. Thank you for your patience while we make these changes.

  • Anonymous
    Aug. 15, 2008 10:21 p.m.

    This is a mean article. Especially since reports are that Yang Yilin is extremely, almost painfully shy. She's not use to media attention either..

    Shawn Johnson has been living in the media spotlight for quite a long time. Of course she's going to be more comfortable with reporters. Also Shawn doesn't have reporters trying to trip her up with "gotcha questions.

    There are plenty of photographs out there of Yang Yilin smiling and laughing with her teammates. Which suggests she's not the miserable creature this reporter is trying to make her into being. Maybe, she was just miserable talking to HIM.

  • ghostwriter
    Aug. 15, 2008 6:46 p.m.

    who wrote this? weird...

  • American Expat in China
    Aug. 15, 2008 4:08 p.m.

    I've lived and worked in China for over 8 years and the living and work conditions here for many people her age are not that different from what you describe. Most rural 16 year olds see the family once a year. Most work insane hours and have little time off (and no spare money to spend when they do). This is not unique to the girls in the gym. Remember it is the long hours, no free time and low pay that gives you the clothes on your back, the toys for your children and the appliances for your home that you don't want to pay any more for. Why would you be surprised that the working conditions for athletes wouldn't be the same as the rest of the society? These gyms have less to do with soviet era techniques and more connection to the capitalist policies that keep all the stuff we think we need cheap in the USA. Spend some more time in China and you'll see that even with the harsh conditions people believe things are improving, are often happy and deserving of whatever their hard work earns them - especially olympic medals!