The judges screw up hardcore; men's high-bar nearly leads to riot

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.

I did not see Nemov’s performance but from your description and from the ridiculous scoring, it makes you think “what kind of clowns do they get to be Olympic judges” ?

Remember during the Winter Olympics when the French judge gave a perfect score to the Russian team (who did a less than perfect performance)? Why? Because the French judge had made a deal to get a better score from the Russian judge for the French team.

The Olympics take place only once every four &*$$%##@# years. Doesn’t this give the Olympic Committee enough time to find qualified judges? Or are they too busy looking for bribes? (remember the Winter Olympics in Utah?)
Or maybe they are too busy going after some small business owner because he dared to call his coffee shop - Olympic Donuts. (true story by the way)

Yeah, it was an amazingly egregious fuck-up. Nemov did an unbelievable (and I don’t just mean something the experienced judges could see) routine. He did FOUR blind releases back-to-back, then a few seconds later, two MORE releases in sequence. He did everything flawlessly. He did take a bit of a step on his ludicrously difficult dismount, but that was the only thing they could have possibly faulted him for…and his routine beat the ever-loving bejeezus out of eveybody else. It was like he was performing on a different plane. Even Hamm’s routine, which was also spectacular, was nowhere near as difficult.

I also felt bad for Paul Hamm, since the crowd and the judges’ review kept him iced in place for several minutes. But he came out and did the routine like a champ.

And Nemov never complained. What an amazingly cool guy.

And what fucking losers for judges.

Aleksei Nemov is such a class act. As his routine was incredible. I can’t imagine what the judges were thinking. And that “correction” was laughable. I think the CAS should get involved, but it probably wouldn’t do any good anyway. Some accountablity on the part of the judges should be required for such an egregious error.


You all know damn well this will be a 20 minute “human interest” story in 4 years to fill air time before he performs. It’s almost like it’s all set to be.

I missed the performance, but from what I’ve heard on sports radio, he kicked ass. If his actions were what I’ve read here, he’s a hell of a class act.

Here’s another story about a Canadian, who was robbed of the bronze medal because of “judging irregularities”.

I’m really starting to despise everything about judged artistic competitions. Who’s with me in starting a boycott?

I read this in this morning’s paper that the Russion Coach was up on his feet, egging the crowd on. And that Nemov didn’t go out to quiet the crowd until after Paul Hamm had asked him to.

Yeah, the rabble-rousing bastard. :rolleyes:

Watched this last night and it was truly amazing. I think that Nemov knew he wasn’t going to get a medal (he already owns 12 Olympic medals, at least a record for Gymnasts) and was kind of enjoying the crowd reaction. Even when the judges screw you it’s good to know the public is on your side. And this will probably be one gymnastics event (like Olga Korbut and Nadia Comenici’s routines from many years ago) that will stick with me forever. So the fuss did win him a certain fame that he might not have gotten from just the routine.

FWIW the guy who did eventually win gold also had some incredible moves; I really feel sorry for him as his effort was overshadowed by the controversy. He was an Italian, right?

Actually these judges were all new – the previous three judges were suspended after last week’s scoring error that messed things up in the all-round.

Actually, from what I saw and what the Czech commentators said, it was a combo of a bad call AND the fact that Paul Hamm was there.

We watched it unfold and it was apparent that the judges smoked crack. For a mis-step at the end he should have been docked .2 points- those are the rules (so they say). Thus he should have gotten 9.8 MAX. And with a perfect performance like that, he should have gotten just that. But the judges screwed it up and gave him a lower score, but no one could figure out what exactly he lost points on.

But the whole crowd didn’t just die down after the score was changed, nor even after Nemov asked them to. There were still a large group of people chanting, and the Czech TV commentators said it was against Hamm because he shouldn’t have gotten the Gold last week due to the original judge screw-up (I heard the forms were filled out wrong, thus giving less points to harder routines). I don’t know how the coverage of that has been in the US or UK, but here, people are PISSED OFF. They feel that the USA should return the gold, which, of course, they haven’t, nor will they.

So it is a combo thing over here. Anger at judge mistake #2 for Nemov with a dash of anger at judge mistake #1 for giving Hamm the gold last week.


Don’t be so hard on the guy. :wink:

I’m sure he was enjoying the love, and thus he probably didn’t realize the effect it was having on his fellow competitor. But after he was asked, he did go out to “shush” them.

So, the men’s high-bar is scored on the number of consecutive blind releases?

That affects the difficulty rating

Aw hell, I hit reply too soon.

I missed the competition, and Nemov is my favorite male gymnast. Anyone know of clips online that show what happened?

Not sure exactly if it involved forms, but there are two sets of judges. One set determines the difficulty, the other set determines the deductions. In the All Around, the judges determining the the difficulty of the Korean’s routine made a mistake and set it at 9.9, instead of 10.0, costing him +.1. BUT, the judges determining deductions missed a madatory -.2 deduction for a fourth hold move (you are only allowed three) which would ultimately drop his score by .1, possibly costing him even the bronze. The American position is that if you are going to go to the tape to review things, you need to apply it to all parts, not just selectively.

It’s a complex issue, not simply a change on a score sheet. If you want to open these competitions to after the fact tape review, you need to consider all the ramifications.

I don’t believe it was Hamm who requested Nemov quiet the crowd. And sure, Aleksei was enjoying it - why shouldn’t he? He’d just been ripped off by the judges and felt vindicated by the crowd’s reaction. I thought it was a very classy thing to do to quiet a crowd that is very obviously on his side. And yeah, I believe part of the crowd’s flap was in reaction to the judging error in the All-Around. Paul Hamm was in a very unenviable position when he had to try to perform while the crowd was still agitated and he did beautifully. Just not as beautifully as Nemov had just before him.


Thank you for further clarification. Not as simple as it seemed.


Yeah, when I watched it last night, I thought that Nemov’s coach whispered into Nemov’s ear, and then he went to quiet the crowd. Not that it did much good. But I guess I just don’t understand much about gymnastics. I thought the Japanese guy’s routine was much better than Hamm’s, but he got scored lower. I know it’s not all about the flashy release moves, but still… I also didn’t like the way the commentators kept making little snide comments about the Korean gymnast either. It just sounded petty.