Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Texas Olympian robbed again

It’s been a rough couple of days for Nastia Liukin, the 18-year old Olympic gymnast from Parker, Texas since she won the coveted All Around Gold Medal at the Beijing Olympics.
Two days ago she was clearly cheated out of a medal in the individual vault competition by ignoramus judges who scored a Chinese gymnast higher even after she practically fell on her ass on her first vault.
And then last night Liukin was awarded the Silver Medal in the individual uneven bars competition despite receiving the exact same score as the Chinese gymnast who took the Gold. It used to be the case that if two people got the same score, they would get the same medal. But for these Olympics, some jackass decided to come up with an impossibly complex “tiebreaking” scheme that can only be figured out by a computer. So, in effect, the computer flips a coin and Liukin gets screwed out of a gold medal. Outrageous!
I hope lots of people are telling the Olympic committee where they can stick their tiebreaking system right now. They should just junk the scheme right now and hand Liukin the gold she deserves before this gets any worse. And to top things off, they had another tie a bit later in the men’s vault competition leaving some other poor schmuck stuck with a Silver following a Gold Medal performance.
I don’t fault the judges so much in this case. Having had the privilege in the past of juding UIL speech and journalism competitions, I know how hard it can be to separate out winners and losers. But a tie is a tie, and unless you are going to have the gymnasts compete again head-to-head it should stay that way.

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