Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Beijing Olympics Controversy

The role of the Internet is vital in any global event. Live coverage, news, videos, blogs, buzz, marketing, advertising - the Internet brought the Beijing Olympics 2008 to a fast paced world, on the move. Interestingly, the Internet also played a role in uncovering evidence to what may be one of the greatest scandals in Olympic history.

It had been rumoured that the Chinese women's gymnastics team members were below the mandatory age limit for competition. Digging around the Internet yielded some incredible results. Read on!

27 July 2008: Records Say Chinese Gymnasts May Be Under Age, NYTimes

14 August 2008: Scandal of the Ages: Documents Reveal Underage Chinese Gymnast, Huffington Post

14 August 2008: CHINA BUSTED Scrubbing Internet of Articles That Show Gymnasts Are Too Young

19 August 2008: Hack the Olympics - blog post by Stryde Hax

21 August 2008: IOC orders probe over China’s He Kexin’s age, Yahoo Sports

Documents archive:

www.sport.gov.cn on The Internet Archive
Translated version in English
Original Excel spreadsheet (in Chinese) mirror
PDF version of the spreadsheet (in Chinese)

Chinese scrubbing at work:

People's Daily Online, China declaring He Kexin as a 14 year old on May 23 2008
The same article altered on China Daily showing Kexin's age as 16
Google cache of China Daily originally showing Kexin's age as 14
China.org showing the altered version of Kexin's age being 16

Uncovering clues from the Internet:

J0hnny Long's site - The Google Hacking Database

What happens next? Who knows!

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