Ok, maybe riot is a stretch, but having just witnessed NBC’s coverage of the men’s gymnastics high-bar competition, I can safely say that the judges, however human-like they may be in appearance, are drug-addled, brain-damaged badgers.
Aleksei Nemov, world-famous gymnast and probably the most highly-regarded male gymnest today, did an amazing high-bar routine; release after release including two in a row that are unlike anything else done by anyone - not being an expert (I mostly only watch to gawk at the boys) I can still safely say that it’s about the most impressive thing I’ve ever seen in men’s gymnastics.
Two athletes had preceded him, each earning a 9.787. His score? 9.725. And the crowd went nuts. A load, low roar filled the arena, drowning out the commentary, and audience members could be seen frantically gesticulating and screaming at the terrible call. After several minutes, and some conversations between fairly important individuals, the score was revised upwards. To 9.762. The commentators had referred to the performance as one of the most spectacular things they’d seen in gymnastics (and again, I concur) and even after revision his score still placed him third.
The judges oughta be flogged for this.
Nemov, though, was a class act, first trying to quiet the crowd (it didn’t work. They just cheered him on) and not joining in the fuss whatsoever. He remained quite calm the entire time, and was clearly gracious to the other players.
The judging’s been screwy throughout the gymnastics portion of the Olympics (witness the troubles over Paul Hamm’s gold on the men’s all-around) but this demonstrates just how incompetent they are. And it also shows that enough people screaming can, um, effect a minor change that really doesn’t improve the situation in the slightest.