10/21/2004 Add a comment

There must be something in the stars, because on the heels of the Red Sox pennant comes news that Paul Hamm, the darling squeaky-voiced gymnast who won the men's all-around gold at the Olympics, will get to keep his medal. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (how do I get a job working there? That would rock) dismissed the appeal by the South Korean gymnast who challenged the title. Now, I do have some sympathy for the South Korean gymnast. After all, the judges gave his parallel bars a start value of 9.9 instead of 10.0, which in the bizarre gymnastics world, was enough to kill his gold medal ambitions. But the South Koreans waited to challenge the scores until after the competition had been concluded (probably because Paul Hamm's spectacular fall early in the evening seemed to take him out of contention) and by then, it was too late. The other important aspect of this debate is that reviews of the video from the event show that the judges were making technical errors on everyone, failing to note and deduct points for things like shakiness on the bars or slight errors in the release timing. I think Paul Hamm deserved his medal and I'm happy that he gets to really celebrate, finally. Now the world of gymnastics? They may have some explaining to do.
Gretchen

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