Did Hamm deserve gold?

In my opinion, he certainly nailed his last two events, but the vault blunder was too big. If the guy earned it, he earned it, and I don’t want to take anything away from him. Unfortunately, I don’t know enough about gymnastics to know if he earned it or not. If you can help me make an educated decision here, I’d appreciate it. Thanks.

I was dozing in and out, but I think I caught enough to have an opinion. So, sure, he deserves it. He made one blunder, a pretty good one; but in every other event, he looked pretty much flawless. And on the high bar, not only was he flawless, he seemed to be flawless doing much more risky things than the others were.

Now the others. They were good, some great, but it looked like each of them made some blunders. Little ones for the most part, but more than one, and on more than one apparatus. So, even though Hamm’s goof was spectacular, he was overall more consistent.

All that said, I know exactly squat about gymnastics, and as an American I just may be a little biased, so take what I say with a big ol’ heaping helping of salt.

In a lot of sports, they throw away the low score. If they had done that last night, he would have won big time.
But they don’t do that in gymnastics.
So what that means is, despite a rather huge flub, all the rest of his events were so good that they made up for that one score. A squeaker, but a win nonetheless. And from the look on his face, I think he was the most surprised of anyone. Even the commentators had assumed he would get Bronze, at best.

And the judges didn’t seem to be doing him any favors. Others got higher scores in individual events. Hamm’s just totalled more when all was said and done.

I normally don’t get fired up for these things, but have to admit that was quite an adventure to see!

Any other of the top several finishing gymnasts could have taken it from him with one more stuck landing. They didn’t. There were a bunch of scores that were a little inflated and most/all of them went to gymnasts other than Hamm. He came back from an enormous setback and finished strong so, yeah he deserved it.

I wonder what this will do to his relationship with his brother. I’m sure they love each other a lot but now Paul’s a world and Olympic champion and Morgan isn’t going to be either. That would have to be a strain even on the closest of relationships.

This is so true. The gymnastics, both men and women, has been the sloppiest and lowest quality we’ve seen at the Olympics in a very long time. Any of the top 5 or so teams in 1996 would have walked away with Gold this year. The women’s vaulting, in particular, was horrible this year.

He earned it.

It’s a combination of excellent work on his part to make up for that big honkin’ screwup on the vault, and screwups on others parts. If the Korean guy hadn’t choked on the bar, if any of dozens of missed landings had been stuck, that sort of thing.

The fact that it was the squeaking, narrow victory that it was shows how close overall all these things brought all the competitors. In the end, Hamm was just that little tiny bit better.

Thats it. And remember his flub came on a very difficult vault. They marked him low on it but if he fell on a lesser vault his score would have been much lower. They judge the difficulty of the vault and that is the max you can get and they deduct from there. If I remember correctly his vault started at a 10. Thats why the other American scored so low on the rings. He didn’t do horrible but his routine was judged to be not too difficult so the deductions came off a much lower max score.

He’s the one I kind of felt bad for. He went into the meet with a terrific attitude and while he wasn’t spectacular he had a solid meet with flashes of greatness in his early exercises. I really wanted him to take a medal. My feeling is if he’d been able to get the rings out of the way earlier in the meet he might have done it.

I hope somebody put that Chinese guy on suicide watch. I seriously wouldn’t be a bit surprised to read about him opening a vein.

from what i saw hamm did not stick his landing. that is a lesser deduction than falling off the high bar during a routine for example.

perhaps the judges enjoyed the lap dance.

Didn’t stick his landing? No he most assuredly didn’t. He took two or three steps (a tenth each), went out of bounds (another tenth) and sat down (five-tenths). His score was something like 9.1xx which means that it was scored correctly.

Falling off the high bar is a 5/10 deduction, same as falling off any other apparatus.

Sure he deserved it. His hard work and dedication, matched with incredible skill, made his performance outstanding, despite the mess-up on one of the rotations. But, IMO, any one of the top few competitors could just as easily be said to have “deserved” gold.

I mean, you have a competition here that, with five events, is out of 50 poits. And Hamm won by 13/1000 of a point. In such a subjective system, this difference is surely well within the statistical margin for error.

And this is why i comtinue to insist that, spectacular as gymnastics is to watch, it should be heaved out of the Olympics, along with all other sports that do not provide objective measurements of performance.

But didn’t the US men’s team take the silver? That means Morgan is a Olympic silver medalist, no?

I thought that the Koreans did the exact same thing that Nancy Kerrigan did during her memorable Olympic skate-off vs. Tanya Harding. Kerrigan thought that all she’d have to do to earn the gold was to skate a “safe” routine well. She didn’t count on that feisty Oksana Beaul (sorry for slaughtering her name) skating a program that was riskier, if not perfect. In the end, the person who took the most risks won.

That being said, I also cannot pick out mistakes like the experts can so I’m not sure if the judges were absolutely fair to all parties. I hope so. I know that two of the competitors (one Korean and the Romanian, IIRC) insinuated that Hamm didn’t deserve gold. Sour grapes? Who knows. All in all I thought this event was very entertaining and commend all the athletes for their athleticism. It was incredible to see them do those iron crosses without their eyeballs popping out of socket. :slight_smile:

Chuck out figure skating and gymnastics? I’d bet those are two of the most watched programs in the Olympics. That would leave, what? Timed races? ::Yawn::

Besides, any sport that has a referee or linesmen also has some measure of subjectivity. How many times have we seen John McEnroe claim that the linesmen were biased against him? That means that tennis would be gone as well as baseball (was that a strike or a ball? An afterthought: Is baseball an Olympic sport?) and basketball (one ref’s charge is another ref’s fair play).

Nope. While I see what you’re saying, and agree that a lot of time politics come into play where they shouldn’t, I can’t see throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

If the losses were the result of subjective criteria you might have a point. They aren’t. Whether a gymnast takes a step on the landing is not subjective. Out of bounds or sitting down isn’t subjective. Height off the vault or time holding a strength move or number of twists are all objective criteria. The gymnasts know going in what the criteria are for creating a routine worth a certain start value and what will get them a deduction.

True, and I hope it won’t be a problem.

But the amount taken off the score for such mistakes is quite subjective. Sure, we are told that falling off the bar is a 0.500 deduction, and that stepping out of bounds is a 0.100 deducation, but most of them are rather more arbitrary than that. Sure, the gymnasts know that certain errors will get them a deduction, but what is far from clear in the judging is exactly how much of a deduction each error will receive.

Just listen to the commentators talking about the scores. On many, many occasions they have said that they thought a particular score was too high or too low. Let me know the next time you’re watching a 100m sprint and a commentator takes issue with the timing equipment, or the next time you’re watching the javelin and a commentator claims that the guy who got the silver should have won because, despite the measurement indicating otherwise, his javelin went further. The very fact that the OP can start a thread asking whether or not Hamm deserved the gold is indicative of the subjective nature of the judging.

Also, when you suggest that height off the vault or time holding a strength move are objective, in the sense that they can be measured, you are correct in a rather narrow sense. But i wasn’t aware that the judges got out there during the performance and actually applied a tape measure to the height. Rather, the judges make an educated guess as to how high the person goes, and compare it in their heads both to some subjective idea of how high the athlete should go, and to how high other athletes have gone before. It’s not like high jump, where height is measured by horizontal stick that you either hit or don’t.

Six events. 60 points. Floor exercise, parallel bars, still rings, high bar, pommel horse, vault.

More later when I’m done drinking.

Oops. Sorry!

But this actually strengthens my point about statistical margin for error.

Have fun drinking!

I guess the OP’s question has been answered. Hamm did not deserve gold.

His last two routines were great and he deserves all the credit in the world for that, but if the judges had scored his competitor properly, Hamm would’ve gotten a silver.