Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Top 5 Problems with the Chinese Gymnasts

My first installment of the infamous "Top 5."
So here we go.

5. The Uneven Bars: Granted this was not the fault of the Chinese, I'm still adding it to my top 5 because it irks me. So in my opinion, Nastia's routine was slightly better than the Chinese girl's, but of course I'm going to be a little biased. So that aside, they tied, good for them! So they both get the gold right?! WRONG! Before I say my complaint, I need to explain a little bit about Gymnastics scoring. So there are 6 judges that submit an execution score (the perfect ten part of the 2 part score), and the highes and the lowest scores are automatically thrown out. Fair enough, this helps eliminate bias. The remaining 4 scores are then averaged, giving the final score. Well in the new rules, in the case of a tie, the next lowest judge score is thrown out, leaving only 3 judges to determine the score of a gymnast. JUST 3!!! How are you supposed to get a good real estimate with just 3 people's scores? You're not. In my opinion, they should have added back in the highest and lowest scores in the case of a tie, thus leaving the score up to a whopping 6 people. But even more than that, they should have just given them both the gold, they both did an amazing routine! That's how they do it in other sports! (This reminds me of my days as a gymnast. I tied a girl for first on my floor routine with a 9.8, but since they didn't have enough ribbons, I got bumped down to a red fancy ribbon that they give the 2nd place people since this girl had a higher all-around score. It crushed my poor 10-year old self.)

4. The Little Girl's Floor Routine: I don't know her name, but I'm sure even if I did I wouldn't know how to spell it, but the little Chinese Girl who got the bronze all-around medal, her floor routine made me want to puke! The commentators kept telling us, oh! Look how she just pulls the audience into her routine! Well personally I thought it was too cheesy, fake, and truthfully, all-out creepy! I had to skip through it a couple times because it weirded me out so much. It definitely didn't have the grace and spunk of Shawn Johnson's routine, but I guess for a 12 year old, that's the best she could do.

3. Balance Beam: Did anyone else feel like the judges must have watched a different balance beam routine for Chung whatever? She had a bazillion (that's an exact number) balance checks and bad form. Sure she did not put an American gymnast out of medal contention, but she took the spot of some other more deserving gymnast. Her score was WAY too high.

2. The Vault: On the event vault finals, the leading Chinese gymnast FELL oh her landing. Not just stepped, not even hopped. Full out fell on her rumpsky! And she still medaled knocking Alicia out?! Sure her start value was higher, but I'm pretty sure Sacramone could have done that vault just as horribly as she did! I mean come on, how hard is it to fall? And if the fall wasn't enough, let's add in the fact that her shoulders weren't squared to the vault when mounting, her hands hit the table at different times, and her legs were off in the flips! The only good that came out of this one was listening to Bela give those judges a piece of his mind!

1. The Age Controversy: I'm not sure how familiar people are with Olympic Gymnastics, but recently they have placed an age restriction on the girls competing, stating that they have to be turning 16 the year of the Olympics to compete. Competing at a younger age gives the gymnasts a huge advantage as they have smaller bodies that are easier to flip around, and have usually not hit a devastating growth spurt to throw them off balance. Well, that little Chinese girl has lost a tooth . . . a baby tooth! And you're trying to tell me she's 16?! They should be stripped of their medals and try again when they grow some hips.

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