Daily Archives: August 19, 2008

Olympic Ruminations

  1. The USA continues to get ripped off by incompetent judges. This further demonstrates why gymnastics, while highly impressive and entertaining, is not a sport. It is an exhibition of talent, strength, and skills that is quite remarkable. Nastia Liukin performed her uneven bar routine with fewer deductible mistakes than He Kexin (Chinese winner), yet Kexin won the event. To make it worse, there was not a single judge from a country who has an Olympic gymnastics medal. And to add insult to injury, the gold medal winning Chinese did not win with a higher score. She won on with a tie score, of which the tie-breaking system, according to Bob Costas and Béla Károlyi is an arbitrary system giving even more power to fewer judges. This seems like a recipe for fraud. This is the second US girl who has fallen victim to judging “mistakes” with the Chinese benefiting in both occasions.
  2. Shawn Johnson finally won gold in Beijing. She does it on seemingly the most difficult piece of equipment. The balance beam is so difficult because many times they are landing on the beam totally blind. I don’t know how they do it. Nastia Liukin continues her run of medals (which should be two golds instead of one) with a silver as America once again goes one and two.
  3. People criticizing Usain Bolt need to back off. This 21 year-old Jamaican athlete is downright amazing and deserves to be a little exuberant. It’s amazing in several ways. First, it’s amazing that a 6’5″ sprinter can run the 100 meters so fast. They say the shorter and more compact runners have an advantage in the sprints due to the quick strides. Bolt is built like a basketball player. Second, he won the gold in the 100 meter (check out this video) after he shut his run down with 25 meters to go. He jogged the last 25 meters people! And he still won the race with total ease. There is something to be said for guys who quietly celebrate inside while maintaining a calm exterior, but come on! This kid just won a gold medal and is the fastest person known in the history of mankind. Give him a break.

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