Monday, August 23

Judging Fiasco

I haven't commented much on the Olympics. I'm a bit of a cynic about the whole Olympic thing, so nothing really surprises or upsets me. Until now.

I know a little bit about gymnastics judging. One of my daughters was a gymnast, and I've been to enough gymnastics competitions to know how the scoring is done, how subjective the judging is, and that there will always be scores I question. So mostly, I have no trouble just defer to the wisdom of the judges when it comes to the scoring, because I understand that they notice things I don't, and know things I don't.

But I do know that something stinks in the judging in the men's gymnastics at this Olympics: making errors in starting scores, not taking mandatory deductions for falls, changing scores in response to crowd outrage, and giving out just plain ridiculous scores. These are supposed to be the best judges there are. How can they foul up like this? The only two reasons I can come up with for this sort of mess is incompetency or corruption.

I shall be kind and go with incompetency as the most likely cause, but how does that happen when the Olympics ought to have the toppest notchest judges around?

For the most part, I think those who should have had medals won them, but they didn't get them in the right way--through judging that is clean, fair, more or less mistake free, and not influenced by anything outside the athlete's performance. Is there anyone who wants to try to convince me that this is what those medal winners got?