Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Paul Hamm Hysteria (I'm part of it)

People are sooo interesting! I am amazed at the reactions to the scoring controversy in the gymnastics competition--I thought everyone would think the same thing I did! (Even my wife and kids disagree with me!)

OK, to me it is a no-brainer: give the medal to the Korean guy who got ripped off because someone can't keep score correctly.

People like to point out that there are mistakes in sports all of the time and the results don't get changed. This is true, but the kinds of mistakes we mean are judgement calls--was the player safe or out, did the receiver have his feet in bounds or not, did the baseball go to the fair side of the foul pole or the foul side---they are not the types of errors that decides how many points something is worth.

What happened to the Korean gymnast was not an error in judgement that an instant replay has brought out into the open; those are the types of mistakes that we just live with in sports. This mistake was a fundamental error in the scoring that is akin to forgetting to post a run on the scoreboard when someone crosses home plate. To me, not giving the athlete the points he should have had is a far cry from any error made in judgement.

Paul Hamm turned in an unforgettable performance in coming back the way he did. Unfortunately, he did not win this competition and as painful as it may be for his fans and his family and himself, the right thing to do would be to give the medal back. Going by the rules he doesn't have to give it up, but common decency demands as far as I see it.


Joel Gaines said...

I am a cretin, a "nyekulturnyi chelovek" Russian for uncultured person.

If it is not something that you can measure/score explicitly, like running the fastest 100M or baseball or judo throws or something like that, it should not be an olympic sport.

Ice skating, Gymnastics, etc. All wonderful events - but how well you do is completely a matter of whether you've paid you dues or not and then based upon someone's OPINION of your "performance". Get it out of the olympics.

my $.02
Adjusted to $.008 after inflation

Anonymous said...

Ugly Naked Guy, I agree, I think that Paul would have been a great american hero if he had stepped up to the plate and given back the medal. The integrity of that act alone would have lasted longer and been felt more strongly than any metal could. In life there are many ways to be a "winner".

Anonymous said...

AH HA!!!! that is where you are Ugly.

you see, As Paul Hamm's little cousin, I know how to do judging. seeing as how I am a gymnast myself, I know the rubric for these events.

The Korean guy was screwed in the parallell bars....yes. they started him at a 9.9, instead of a 10. BUT!!!!! they did not take off points for his extra 4 posts that he did.
you see, when on the paralell bars, you are only allowed 3 posts (Hand stands) if you have more than three posts, then you will be penalized by 1 tenth of a point. he had 7 posts total. ((A post is when you do a handstand, for 3 seconds or more.) even if he started out with a 10 value, because of his posts, even if he did his routine perfectly, he would have had a 9.6, which is worse than what he got, and if they would have judged it correctly, then he would not have even got a Bronze medal.

Anonymous said...

well, I must agree with the person who talked about the Korean's posts.

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