Monday, August 25, 2008

The Real Medal Count

Now that the Olympics have ended and I don't have to heed to the Olympic spirit of goodwill, I feel it is my duty to do a little complaining on the lop-sided judging in Beijing. I found this article that expressed my same sentiments and although I don't want judged medals not to count, it is something to think, laugh or cry about. The last option is for the USA gymnasts that got ROBBED!

The REAL Olympic medal count
By Chris Chase

Look, I don't know much about gymnastics, but I do know that landing a vault on two feet is better than landing one on two knees. Olympic gymnastics judges evidently disagree with me, as they awarded China's Cheng Fei a bronze medal yesterday even after she fell on her vault landing. American Alicia Sacramone finished fourth despite, you know, not falling.

And today, 12-year old-oops-16-year old Chinese gymnast He Kexin won gold over Nastia Liukin based on an obscure tiebreaking rule. The two received the same score from the judges, but He won a tiebreak because an Australian judge apparently was watching a different competition.

Every judging break seems to have gone China's way during these Olympics. I'm not suggesting a conspiracy, I just think that judges are humans who are influenced by big names, fans and other external factors. Oh, and they're also terrible. Judged events will always be viewed with skepticism by those who lose for this reason, particularly those who lose to a member of the home delegation. (Think Roy Jones Jr. at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.)

It is because of this skewed inconsistency that Fourth-Place Medal introduces The Real 2008 Medal Count. Our medal count will tally medals won in sports decided on the field of play, not by a judge in a teal blazer.

The judged Olympic events we will ignore for our tally are: boxing, diving, equestrian, gymnastics, judo, taekwondo, trampoline and wrestling. We debated whether to include boxing, wrestling and the martial arts in the list, as they can be decided by competitors. However, because the judging is prone to error and shenaningans, we will include it.

The Real 2008 Medal Count

China: 22 gold; 11 silver; 11 bronze

United States: 21 gold; 19 silver; 21 bronze

As you can see, in the events where medals are determined by competitors rather than judges, the gold medal gap between China and the U.S. is greatly narrowed, and the total medal count is an American runaway. Counting the judged events, China has a commanding lead in golds. Hmmm... Nope, nothing fishy about that!


The Bears said...

Despite the complaints, I have to add, it was worth ALL the frustrations, to watch the amazing performances! I LOVE, LOVE, Love gymnastics!!!

candicerail said...

I agree with you fully. I watched that poor Chinese girl land on her knees, and Bella Koroli (however you spell that) cry at the wrongness of it all. I felt so bad for our fourth place gymnast.

It is so difficult to let go of our biases. I hope that I can judge fairly always...yet I know that I can be 'Sister Bias' without realizing it.

By the way. I am so glad that you found me. We miss you so much and it has only been one week.