Nastia Liukin on balance beam

Gymnastics Scoring at Olympics a Problem

Let’s talk about the Olympic games in China. Beijing sure knew how to impress us. The only problem was the new scoring system for gymnastics. I am speaking about all the Gymnastic events. The United States has come so close to winning the Gold in all the events. Yes, they had their share of mistakes, but come on last night was the straw that broke the camels back.

There was a tie between China’s HE Kexin and U.S.’s Nastia Liukin, due to the new scoring system, in which the computer spits out the first high score for each girl and the lowest score. What they did next was unfair. To break the tie, they got rid of the next lowest scores for the girls. China had 8.9 and U.S had 9.0. Which then allowed China to win the Gold based on the scores of 9.0, 9.1,9.1. U.S. ended up with 9.1,9.0,9.0. China won by .1 points. This system is unfair. Had they gotten rid of the high score U.S. would have come out on top by .1 point.

In watching the program China’s He Kexin had a good program, but during the uneven bars, her legs were not together all the time, and her landing was not perfect. The Nastia Liukin had a very good program. There was one error where her handstand on the uneven bars should have been held longer, but she had a perfect landing. Since both girls did well, I think they should have taken into consideration the last scores from previous uneven bar results. Nastia was the All around Gold Medalist and scored a 16.9 in the uneven bar event. The highest score ever received in this event. Therefore I feel they could have added both those scores for a more fair result. I have a feeling that this scoring will be revamped before the 2012 Olympics.

Another problem with the scoring is that the girls who are competing, those judges from their country, are not allowed to judge the competition. That part is fair, however, the ones who are left to judge are not as qualified to judge. They are more apt to miss certain things that another judge who has more experience might not miss. They also may judge based on the audience. Since the audience is excited over a certain gymnast they might score them better. We know that they are not able to change the mind or opinion of a judge. Although during the events, judges were asked to lower scores or higher scores, so I guess they can a change their minds a little.

There is also another controversy about China and the girls in the Gymnastic events. These girls in no way look like they are old enough. They look at most 13 years old. Passports stated that they were old enough, if you can believe that. I mean China has not done well in the last Olympics, and they wanted to win this year. How do we know if things were changed so that they could compete. Why were only passports required? Maybe birth certificates, medical records, hospital records. Something that could prove they were old enough. The way the girls are taken from their homes at such an early age to live and practice is another story in itself.

As always there is a first time for everything and to find problems with something, you need to test it. It is upsetting to know that this test has lost many Gold Medals for the United States. Hopefully there will be some changes in the scoring in the future. Most events either give two medals for Gold, or they would have a tie breaker. This would have been fair in my mind. But since we were aware of this system before competing, we have to live with it and accept the Silver yet again! Maybe someday there will be a more fair way to score, but until then we will still enjoy watching what brings all countries together, The Olympics!