Dong Fangxiao

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Dong Fangxiao
Full name Dong Fangxiao
Country represented  China
Born (1986-01-23) 23 January 1986 (age 31)[1][2] or January 20, 1983[1]
Hebei, China
Discipline Women's artistic gymnastics
Level Senior
Head coach(es) Lu Shanzhen
Music Zorba the Greek (1999/2000)

Dong Fangxiao (Chinese: 董芳霄; Dǒng Fāngxiāo) is a retired Chinese international gymnast who competed at the 2000 Summer Olympics.[3] She won a bronze medal with the Chinese team at the Olympics, but the award was stripped when she was discovered to have competed underage.

Gymnastics career[edit]

Dong Fangxiao began gymnastics at an early age. She was a member of her provincial team by the age of seven and was invited to join the Chinese national team at the age of ten.[4] She began competing internationally as a senior in 1999. At the 1999 World Championships in Tianjin China, Dong helped the Chinese team to a bronze medal. Individually she placed 6th in the all-around, 4th in the floor exercise final and 7th in the balance beam event final.[2] Dong was named to the Chinese team for the 2000 Olympics. Her strong performances again helped the Chinese squad earn the bronze medal in the team competition. Dong qualified for the all-around and two event finals, but placed out of the medals on all three events.[2]

After the Olympics she continued to compete for the Chinese team, participating in the 2001 East Asian Games, the University Games and the World Cup circuit.[1] Dong retired from gymnastics in 2001 due to bone necrosis in her leg.[3][4]

Age falsification charge[edit]

During her competitive career, Dong competed under a passport that gave her date of birth as January 20, 1983. However, when she was certified to work as a technical official at the 2008 Summer Olympics, she was registered with a January 23, 1986 birthdate. In addition, Dong gave the same date of birth on her CV.[4] The 1986 birthdate would have made her 13 in 1999 and 14 at the Olympics – two years below the minimum age required by the International Federation of Gymnastics.[5]

After an investigation, the F.I.G. ruled that Dong had been underage and ineligible to compete as a senior in 1999 and 2000.[6] Consequently, Dong's scores from both the 1999 Worlds and 2000 Olympics were nullified. In April 2010, the International Olympic Committee stripped the 2000 Chinese Olympic gymnastics team of its bronze medal in the team competition.[7] The Chinese team was also stripped of their team medals from the 1999 World Championships.[6][8] In addition, the F.I.G. billed the Chinese Gymnastics Federation for the cost of the inquiry.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Dong Fangxiao currently lives in New Zealand with her husband, where she works as a gymnastics coach. She now has a baby boy.[5]