C'mon Hamm, cough up the Gold!

So it seems Hamm won his gold because the judges can’t count backwards from 10 correctly.
Hamm gets his spotlight and 15 minutes of fame but now refuses to give up his medal. Granted, according to the rules he doesn’t have to but isn’t it the RIGHT thing to do?
Do you really want to be know as the guy who won gold because they screwed up the judging? I’d compare you to the guy who get a $50 back from the cashier instead of the $10 you were supposed to get then says “Hey, she screwed up, it’s not my problem, I’m keeping the $50.”
Dude, if you gave over the medal you’d become a hero instead of a schmoo.
It’s a hunk of metal and people are gonna forget your name by next month anyway.

If you honestly think that, howsabout you go get one?

Dang. Thought this was in the Pit. Sorry about that.

More citeworthy, from an interview with Paul’s coach:

So, even if they do a recount, the Korean’s score should go down by .10, not up.

The Koreans usually know how to protest (especially after disputed decisions in boxing matches–that’s probably why one factor why Roy Jones got robbed in Seoul). This protest is unusually weak for them.

What I am saying is that when they noticed the mistake of base 9.9 instead of base 10.0 for their gymnast, they should have protested on the spot, and if they were being told to do it later, then stage one of their infamous sit-ins.

I know very little about gymnastics and even less about the judging, so I can’t comment on whether or not the decision was correct.

However, I think it’s a bit unfair to ask the athlete to remedy the situation. Sure, giving up a medal after you learn of a judging mistake is an incredibly classy move–but it’s a pretty harsh thing to expect of someone.

If Paul Hamm had cheated or broken the rules, I’d be calling for him to give up the medal–even if the rules said he didn’t have to. But that’s not the case. He didn’t do anything wrong. We should expect athletes to go out there and do their best while obeying the rules. But determining the winners is up to the officials and judges. Not the competitors.

Especially if he’s right in his comments that the video proving there was a screwup shouldn’t have even been reviewed, then no. And doubly so if the South Korean guy messed up and wasn’t penalized, since if one performance was unfairly reviewed they all should be.

What’s a schmoo?

I don’t think other people have anything to do with this. This is about what he earned.

I don’t think “earned” applies to this case. You’re judged on one performance, not your actual skill level.

He shouldn’t give the medal back for reasons already mentioned above. I’ll second from past knowledge that if the Koreans had a very good case, they’d have pushed it a lot harder.

How many football games do you see argued about on Monday morning because a referee made a questionable call? The scores of those are never changed.

I think it’s really unfortunate for Hamm’s sake that his disputed gold medal is being seen as the result of a most egregious and singular judging error – as opposed to all the other errors they’d racked up in their inconsistent scoring of all the events and probably every gymnast. The commentators are always remarking how this score was too generous, this one a bit low, and so forth – and basically I just take their word for it. (I distinctly remember the NBC play-by-play commentator, former U.S. gymnast Tim Daggett, remarking that a Korean gymnast’s marks were unjustifiably high on one event. Don’t remember which gymnast and which event it was, though.) How exactly is incorrect scoring any more justifiable than the incorrect difficulty assessment? Either way, an athlete gets screwed and the integrity of the competition suffers.

If you were to apply a microscope to the entire competition, examining every set of marks, the revisionism would never end.

C’mon, it’s not like it’s a real sport.

How many judges do they use, and how do they select these judges?



Eating Hamm? Not the answer.

Did anyone see the high bar competition yesterday? Hamm won a silver, but the Russian gymnast was absolutely robbed by the judges. He turned in a performance that the commentators said would open a new chapter in the high bar. They were astounded by it. At the end of the performance the audience went absoutely bananas, screaming and cheering. The only flaw in the performance was a slight step on the landing, which should have been a 1/10 deduction. The judges gave him a 9.712. And bedlam broke out. I’ve never seen this before at an Olympics, but the audience started booing and screaming, and they wouldn’t stop. They kept yelling and screaming until the judges changed their scores on the spot. The Canadian judge and another judge had given him 9.65, and they both raised their scores to 9.75. That moved him up to something like 9.765. The audience didn’t like that either, and kept yelling and stomping.

Then Hamm had to go up and start his routine in the middle of all the shouting. He turned in what I thought was a pretty average routine, and he also had a small step on the landing - and the judges gave him a 9.812, giving him a silver. There was NO WAY his routine was better than the Russian’s, but that’s what happened.

That was amazing. It’s unbelieveable to me that fans could have THAT much power. I mean, of all the scoring atrocities, that was over-the-top. I’m no gymnastics expert but the Russian guy and the Italian guy has the 2 best routines. But even with the horrific scoring, there’s just no way that a crowd reaction should force a scoring change. The sport lost alot of respectabilitiy last night.

My thoughts exactly. What kind of sport allows audience reaction to cause the judges to change their mind?

This Olympics is going to wind up being remembered for judging screwups just like the figure skating in the last winter Olympics.

I had completely forgotten about the Figure Skating scandal. I’d say that this is the same thing. I read about the female Russian gymnast (Ghorhkina?) complaining about how she was cheated because the champion was American (Paterson?). I thought, oh please, sour grapes. Everyone hates America anyway, so why would they give them higher scores? Last night was the first gymnastics event that I’ve watched. It was obvious that Hamm couldn’t hold a candle to the Russian or the Italian. And the Russian is apparently a living legend with 12 Olympic medals already.

It’s going to come out. Someone paid off someone. Write it down.

This is the problem I have with any sporting event involving judges. There was a boxing match between a Canadian guy and I think the other guy was Korean but I can’t remember for sure, and the Canadian guy was blindly obviously better, landing more punches and controlling the fight. The judges, however, gave far more points to the Korean and the commentators were almost getting angry at how ridiculous the scoring was. When the bout was over, and the two athletes were in the centre ring for the winner announcement, the Canadian guy began to raise his hands before they even made the annoucement and was visibly stunned when they said the Korean guy won (who also looked surprised to have won himself). When the two competitors can tell who was the winner better than the judges, it calls into question the validity of any judged result.

At least with sprinting or cycling or what have you, there’s far less room for contention because it’s all about time or final score in team sports.

Yeah, last night’s high bar final was a travesty. Both for the ridiculous scoring, and for the way that the officials allowed themselves to be swayed by crowd reaction.

I’ve said before, and i’m saying again now: if the winner cannot be determined by actual measurement (how fast, how high, how far, how much weight, etc.), then the sport shouldn’t be in the Olympics.

With all due respect to anyone who’s saying “X clearly was better than Y” - unless you’re an expert, you don’t know what you’re talking about. I watched a little of the gymnastics, and tried to guess what scores they would get, and I was wrong every time, because the judging isn’t just about who looked prettier doing their routine. The crowd can scream and yell all they want, but they have no idea what criteria the judges are using; sometimes it’s quite subtle, and a layman simply doesn’t understand what happened. Time and time again, the crowd would clamor for a particular althelete to get a better score, and the commentator would point out that that person didn’t deserve a better score. That’s not to say the judges can’t make mistakes, but just because you thought one person looked better to you doesn’t mean the judges were wrong. And as Sam and mhendo pointed out, changing scores based on crowd reaction is absurd.

Blowero, you makes sense. But one of the commentators was a former Olympic gymnast and he was the one who, prior to the Russian’s score being posted, proclaimed that the routine was perhaps the best ever (or something to that effect). Everyone was mesmerized by it and no explanation was given as to why the score was so low. One judge basically admitted that he made a mistake by changing his score.