Monday, August 18, 2008


I absolutely cannot wait for these gymnastics events to be over. They are seriously bad for my disposition.

My girl, Nastia, got TOTALLY screwed.

I'm not mad about the tie-breaker situation. That is a computer-based solution to a problem that shouldn't exist. Here's the thing: gymastics, like diving and ice-skating and ski-jumping, etc... is a sport which relies on the opinions of experts. These experts are human. No matter how hard the sport tries to eliminate bias and incompetence, the results will be intrinsically unfair. There is no way to truly define a winner or loser in a sport that uses human beings to determine the results. This is a condition which the sport has accepted. But the new scoring system has been designed to mitigate human error as much as possible.

Unfortunately, they’ve created a system that makes scoring harder without actually fixing the problem, which is: THE JUDGES ARE FRIKKIN’ BLIND.

I’ve said it a thousand times, I’m not an expert. But if I can see visible errors from my T.V. at home, then there is no excuse for the judges to ignore them. Tonight, the Chinese girl and Nastia each did routines with the same difficulty score, which means they started dead even. The Chinese girl had visible errors and didn’t stick her landing. Nastia had fewer visible errors and stuck her landing.

Yes, the computer-based tie-breaker was a load of bullshit, but it shouldn’t have even COME to that.

I know what people will say: “Well, Reeva, you’re an emotional American. You’re watching the American telecast led by American commentators, which is supplemented by the blustering of Bela Karolyi. You’re not an expert, so shut the hell up.”

I will respond, “No, YOU shut up! Everything you say is true, but the scores are right there for me to see. And the judges have been systemically generous to the Chinese and overly critically to the Americans. Yes, Bela Karolyi has a bias, but I trust him, because he’s been in the sport longer than anyone in that gym, judges and coaches included. There is no way that Chinese girl deserved that high of a score for her routine, and Nastia obviously received questionable deductions. Basically, Nastia got screwed over by the judges and the Chinese girl won by a technicality.”

And then we‘ll pull each other’s hair.

Seriously, after watching Alicia Sacramone get screwed on the vault, and then this, I can't bring myself to watch the floor exercise competition. I hope I have my Olympic spirit back by tomorrow.

EDIT::: OK, it's been about 15 minutes and I'm much calmer now. First of all, the Chinese girl has a name, Kexin He, and I didn't mean to be disrespectful towards her. She performed a gorgeous routine and very much deserved to be rewarded. I take nothing away from her. I have to remind myself that in a sport with such relative scoring standards, these things happen all the time. In a way, these suck-outs are in the nature of the sport.

No, my beef is with the judges. So... judges: if I may suggest Lenscrafters... the eye exam is free.

1 comment:

Erin G said...

no YOU shut up! haha that part made me laugh.

you're totally right, of course. even the people on espn said so. and they don't talk about gymnastics unless they HAVE to.

the worst part was watching poor nastia look so confused. wait, we're tied? why I am I in second? (You could read her lips when she was talking to her dad.) even with the all-around gold, that's just heartbreaking to have it taken right out from under her nose. She's just a kid after all (maybe not as much of a kid as Kexin He - oh did I write that?), but she handled the whole thing with more graciousness than I could have mustered.

why can't they tie anyway? every other sport does!

her dad tied for the gold back in his day too. what are the chances????