What’s the controversy all about?
At the 2004 Olympics, a group of all-star athletes from around the world came together to compete for the ingymnastics title. In the spirit of competition, there is always equipment between the analyst and the spokesperson as to whether or not athletes deserve the medals they receive. Sometimes, judges are found guilty of controversy, and other times failure is thwarted by supported speculation. In this case, Paul Hamm was battered for an additional error: the judges mistakenly set the rival’s initial score at 9.9 rather than 10.0. Manybelieve that this mistake is at the expense of Yang Tae Young, the Korean rival of South Paul Hamm, a gold medal gymnastics.
Gymnastics judging is not a science.
This is proven again and again. There is no mathematicalway to measure a gymnastic routine – in fact, gymnastics is probably one of the most subjective sports of all. Nogoal is involved, as in football – there is no circle like inbasketball; no bullseyes are involved, as in archery; Onedoes do not go for distance or height, as in orshot vaulting poles are laid. In gymnastics, an athlete is judged in form, scoring goals at perfection. It is very difficult to do it inaccurately, because there is no computed vector to see if someone is holding a parallel correction bar or landing with a wobble.
If you’ve been to a gymnastics competition, you probably understand that panels look at execution for their scores: something that twists and turns and is executed ispoor will score lower than something issimpler but executed perfectly. The criteria for measuring this aspect of gymnastics include stability and landing – whether or not he is waving at the element’s terminus, or holding a position for less than three seconds at the end of a routine, or taking an extra step or tripping over. This in turn leads to criticism of the judges’ ability to do their job, and also leads to scoring errors.
Why is Paul Hamm worthy of gold?
Paul Hamm, like other athletes, is and is not part of the politics of the game. He’s there to compete, andindeed, he’s there to win. It is the goal of thousands of Olympic hopes around the world – to go to matches and to demonstrate their skills in the sport they love most. In all actuality, no athlete has to deal with thethings Paul Hamm is forced through. It is completely misunderstood that he should refuse to give up his medal – gold is definitely not tainted. it is his and hisalone. The mistakes of the judges were not the ones he had to bear. Heís an amazing gymnast, indeed.
Why is Yang Tae Young, his rival, not worthy of gold?
Perhaps more convincing is the reason why Yang TaeYoung, Paul Hamm’s Korean rival, doesn’t deserve the gold medal so many are attributing it. First, the representatives of the Koreanymnastics team were late in calling the acomplaint, which made the investigation itself – and all the stress associated with it – completely invalid (an Olympic country, that protests need to take place before the end of every full game, as with parallelbar, and Korea does not) do it). Even then, the push was suspended, and an investigation took place. Second, and perhaps more importantly, even if Tae Young’s suspects had the extra .10 points guaranteed by thedifficulty of his routine, he would still score the lowerthan he did for another added mistake. After the tape was reviewed, it was revealed that Tae Young accidentally made four handles at the bar rather than the three left, which would have resulted in a deduction. 2, still leaving him with a deficit of a tenth of a point.
Snafu on Paul Hamm’s gold medal – versus, of course, awarding a medal to the South Korean team – can be revoked. There should be no question that Hamm deserves his medal, and he definitely shouldn’t be dealing with problems around the world. Also, indeed, does he deserve all the sick press surrounding his name. Gold medals well won. This is certainly not tarnishing, and neither is the record.