Kexin on August 30, 2008
|Full name||He Kexin (何可欣)|
January 1, 1992 |
(see Age controversy below)
|Height||152 cm (5 ft 0 in)|
|Discipline||Women's artistic gymnastics|
|Years on national team||2007, 2008, 2009|
|Club||Beijing Gymnastics Team|
|Head coach(es)||Liu Guicheng, He Hua|
|Music||Bolero by Maurice Ravel (2010–11)|
He Kexin (born January 1, 1992) is a former Chinese artistic gymnast who competed at the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics. At the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, she won gold medals on the uneven bars and as a member of the Chinese team. She was one of only a few gymnasts to score over 17.00 under the 2005–2008 Code of Points, and her 7.7 difficulty score on bars in 2008 was one of the highest in the world.
As with several of her teammates, questions were raised in the international press when earlier reports surfaced indicating she may not have been old enough to compete in the 2008 Olympics; however, an official investigation found in her favor. She continued her success in post-Beijing Olympics period, she holds the record for the highest obtained difficulty in the entire London period. In the team final at the 2010 World Championships, she scored 16.133 with 7.4 difficulty, one of the highest score achieved in women's gymnastics between 2009 and 2012.
He Kexin began training at the Shichahai Sports School in Beijing in 1997. She participated in China's National Games in 2006 and Intercity Games in 2007. According to China Daily, Kexin was recruited for the Chinese National Team in 2007, after her uneven bars win at the Intercity Games drew the attention of head coach Huang Yubin.
She made her international debut in 2008, participating in several events on the World Cup circuit. At her first meet, the World Cup in Doha, she scored 16.550 on the uneven bars; at her second, the Cottbus Cup, she scored 16.800. The mark was the highest uneven bars score posted at an international event under the current Code of Points, besting Nastia Liukin's mark of 16.65 at the 2008 Pacific Rim Championships. On May 15, 2008, He participated in the Tianjin World Cup, breaking two world records.
At the 2008 Olympics, He was a member of the gold medal-winning Chinese team. In the uneven bars final, she and Liukin both posted final marks of 16.725, and earned identical A- and B-panel scores of 7.70 and 9.025, respectively. Because He's individual B-panel marks had a lower variance, she won the gold medal as per the Olympic tiebreaker rules of the Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG).
During the team finals in the 2010 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, He contributed the highest score of the night to her team total, 16.133 with 7.4 difficulty, it was the highest difficulty for the entire London Olympic period in all four piece of apparatus and the 16.133 scores on bars was also the highest ever achieved at the same time. But a fall in the event final left her out of the medals. In the qualifications of the 2011 World Championships, she fell and did not make the event final. Although she did not compete in any event in the team final, she remained on the Chinese team, which won the bronze medal.
He was named to the 2012 Olympic team over 2008 teammate Jiang Yuyuan and 2011 World team member Tan Sixin, because her speciality was regarded as a better complement to the fourth team member, Deng Linlin. At the Olympics, she qualified in second place to the uneven bars event final. She finished in second, behind gold medalist Aliya Mustafina of Russia, with a score of 15.933, making her the only Chinese female gymnast to medal in the same event at two consecutive Olympics.
During and after the 2008 Summer Olympics, He Kexin's actual age became the subject of controversy; her passport and the Chinese Olympic Committee list her date of birth as January 1, 1992, which would make her 16 years, 220 days old during the 2008 Olympic opening ceremonies and therefore old enough to compete. However, before the 2008 Olympics, He's age was reported by the Chinese press, including the state news service, Xinhua, as 13 in 2007 and 14 in 2008 in news articles that were later taken off-line. Her birth date has also been given on several registration lists of the General Administration of Sport in China, the Chengdu Sports Bureau and other registration sources as January 1, 1994, which would have made her 14 years, 220 days old during the opening ceremonies, and therefore too young to participate. Chinese officials maintained that He was in fact old enough to compete, stating that Xinhua had not confirmed He's age before filing their news reports and attributing the discrepancies to faulty paperwork when He was transferred from Beijing to Hubei. He herself, speaking to reporters after the 2008 Olympic team final, said, "My real age is 16. I don't care what other people say." In another interview, she said, "I don't get upset because I have answered this question many times. There's no need to explain anymore." On August 2, the International Olympic Committee stated that it would not investigate the discrepancy in He's reported age because the FIG's own verification system was sufficient proof of eligibility. The FIG, in responding to the situation, said that it would not ask for additional proof of age beyond the passport already supplied by Chinese officials.
However, the matter continued to be a source of controversy among members of the gymnastics community and the media. The Times reported that a computer expert "Stryde" had recovered one of the deleted registration lists showing He's birth date as January 1, 1994, through cached pages on the search engine Baidu. On August 21, the IOC announced that it had asked the FIG to open an investigation into He and her teammates' ages. On August 22, 2008, the IOC said it had not uncovered any evidence of wrongdoing "so far" and expressed confidence that the Chinese Federation's documents were correct. However, the FIG held an emergency meeting about the situation on August 23 and requested additional documentation for every gymnast on the Chinese team, with the exception of Cheng Fei. On August 24, a Chinese official addressed the registration lists found online, stating that the discrepancy was due to an administrative error that took place when He was transferred between teams while participating in the InterCity Games in 2007.
On October 1, 2008, the FIG concluded its investigation, finding that He and her Olympic teammates were old enough to compete, although some international media outlets remained skeptical.
|2009||World Championships||London||Uneven Bars||1||16.000||1||15.975|
|2008||World Cup/Series||Cottbus||Uneven Bars||1||16.850||1||16.800|
|World Cup/Final||Madrid||Uneven Bars||1||16.250|
- 2008 "Travel to India" (Track14) and "The Awakening" (track 16) from Jackie Chan's Movie "The Myth" soundtrack
- 2010 Aankhein Khuli by Jatin Lalit
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- He Kexin at the International Federation of Gymnastics
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