Fun with pronouns

Looks like the Chinese have been found out – but they’ll probably never admit it.

It seems one impossibly young-looking female gymnast from China’s team was described in a state-run news report last year as being only 13 years old, which would make her ineligible for the Olympics this year and her contributions illegitimate.

Okay, so the Chinese government’s crooked. No surprise. But the reason I’m posting this is that quotes like the following in the AP article I read had me scratching my head as I skimmed through it:

Chinese authorities insist that all three are old enough to compete. He herself told reporters after Wednesday’s final that “my real age is 16. I don’t pay any attention to what everyone says.”

If the age reported by Xinhua was correct, that would have meant He was too young to be on the Chinese team that beat the United States on Wednesday and clinched China’s first women’s team Olympic gold in gymnastics. He is also a favorite for gold in Monday’s uneven bars final.

At first I chalked up the gender disagreement and capitalization “error” to be translation errors. Obviously, if I had either 1) stayed apprised of the gymnastics competition or 2) read the intro of the article closely, I would have noticed that the gymnast’s name is He Kexin.

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