Tag Archives: judged sports

The Olympics and The Silliness of Judged Sports

Spoiler alert: If you’ve not yet watched the coverage of women’s gymnastics from the Olympics you may not want to continue.

If you HAVE seen the coverage, or at least the results, then you already know that reigning world champion Jordan Wieber failed to qualify for the all-around individual championship. Although her score was fourth best amongst all competitors she was third best on the US team and ran afoul of a rule that says that only the top two from any country can advance to the individual competition.

REALLY?!?

So, you’re telling me that it isn’t about pitting the top gymnasts in the world against each other, it’s about putting on some sort of global ratings show?
Some sort of  “let’s be fair to those countries whose athletes made it here but aren’t as good” or “wouldn’t want one country to dominate” kind of thing?

I really don’t have a problem with it if Wieber gets beat in the semis on the track or in the pool, measured on a objective scale where the tape or the clock doesn’t lie. But to miss out by less that .3 because some judge decided, even subconsciously, that “as world champion I expect more from her” is kind of sad.

Yeah, yeah, they all know the rules going in but that doesn’t make the rules intelligent. Especially the whole, lets be fair to everyone, thing. I’m starting to wonder if the same folks who created the BCS weren’t somehow connected to this approach to gymnastics.

That’s why I am in favor of eliminating all judged sports from the Olympics. Granted we’d lose a good source of humor fodder by not being able to refer to the scores from the Russian judge but I’m willing to sacrifice.

Or…if you’re really in love with gymnastics…and figure skating…then let’s use some advanced technology. It would be simple matter to include small sensors in costumes and uniforms that would allow a digitized assessment of an athletes movement. In fact you could eliminate name and country this way allowing “judges” to assess without prejudice.

Eliminating one of the worlds best from competing because some shriveled bint decided to tick off a tenth of a point based on the position of her toes is ridiculous. It moves sports into the realm of beauty pageant. I think that’s plain silly.

What are your thoughts on judged sports in the Olympics?