I suspect in part it is because the training that could be performed with girls that young can result in serious health impacts for them in later life.
Secondly, because the younger (<15 yr old) gymnasts are more flexible (due to the way bones develop) it may lead to having some wierd form of arms race to train the best gymnasts at the youngest possible age to take advantage of that. Can't see that being good for a child.
The system's not perfect, but hopefully the playing field is at least level(ish).
One interesting statement I picked up on a forum:
"I wondered how china's gold medal count would look if i broke the sports down into three basic types:
Timed (almost impossible to sway the result by biased judging).
Scored goals/points (basketball, baseball, etc. where points are obviously scored, but judging can affect aspects of the gameplay - penalties and such).
Judged (all points are awarded based on whether a judge deems the point should be awarded - martial arts, gymnastics, etc. Basically, a corrupt judge can easily and drastically alter the outcome).
I then compared the number of golds won to the number of golds possible for each category. Here's how it all breaks down at the time of this posting:
Timed: China has won 2.94% of available gold medals
Scored goals/points: China has won 39.62% of available gold medals
Judged: China has won 52.27% of available gold medals.
Note that available means the medal a medal has been awarded to the winner.
So, the higher the influence judging has on the outcome, the better China does. Interesting, no?"
You need to login before you can answer.