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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » Dumb Olympics Rule (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Tom Cutts
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Quote:
On 2012-07-30 15:39, Marlin1894 wrote:
It has absolutely nothing to do withh the rules of fencing. It has to do with the format of the competition.
My mistake. I thought you wanted discussion. Continue your tantrum...
TonyB2009
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Quote:
On 2012-07-30 12:31, Tom Cutts wrote:
Wow, you guys have the Olympics completely confused with World Championships. The modern day Olympics is SPECIFICALLY about countries competing against each other..

I know - which is why I prefer to watch the world championships in any sport in which I have an interest. If I was a competitor still, and was good enough, I would much rather call myself a world champion than an Olympic champion.
ClintonMagus
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What's interesting is that teh Olympics cause us to get interested in sports we care nothing about. The world championships don't seem to have that same aura.
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balducci
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Good article IMO, but too long to post the entire thing so I cut and pasted some main points. Read the original article if you have time. The third and fourth points in particular explain why the limit makes some good sense.

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/olympics--b......nal.html

Some of the points it makes:

- First: This is pretty much how every other Olympic competition operates. It's a way to promote various sports across the globe. Only the top two swimmers and top three runners from any given country can qualify for an Olympic race. It's just those are hashed out at the lower profile national qualifying meets, not within the structure of the Olympics, as gymnastics handles it. Consider, the United States could probably field a dozen men's basketball teams better than Tunisia. That isn't how anyone views the Olympics. So we choose one (we could have a tourney of contending squads if we wanted) and call it our team.

- Second: While gymnastics is arguably the most pressure-packed competition of the Olympics featuring gifted, dedicated, and mentally tough athletes, it isn't a sport in the traditional sense. It is a competition. It relies on subjective decisions, not objective measures. The byproduct, at least in women's gymnastics, includes athletes wearing make up and sparkly outfits in an effort to influence the judges. It's hard to be ugly and be a champion gymnast. No one cares what Usain Bolt looks like. Wieber, if anything, was likely penalized for being more powerfully built than some other gymnasts since Olympic judges have long seemed to favor lean, lithe competitors. It's what Shawn Johnson's camp complained about four years ago.

- Third: Geddert railed about the officiating after, claiming Wieber didn't get "the scores she normally does. She got nothing tonight." He may be right. That's gymnastics, though. And that's where the national limit comes into play. Judges also have the human tendency to have scores rise as the competition gets better. One great performance tends to impact the next – whether that routine is better or not. Bela Karolyi, whose been around the sport for decades and is Martha's husband, wondered if Wieber was affected by the order of competitors in the floor exercise, the U.S. team's final discipline. Wieber went third. Aly Raisman, who unexpectedly finished first among the Americans and thus knocked Wieber out of the all-around, went directly after her. Karolyi noted that judges' scores generally go up and had the places been reversed perhaps the results would have, too.

- Fourth: The problem with giving too many slots to one country is that it can further cloud judge's scores. Being a member of a great team means you are surrounded by other great gymnasts and thus have an advantage. Weaker members of a stronger team could have their scores artificially boosted because of whom they follow. Meanwhile, a competitor from a developing program or nontraditional nation, who might have competed in a morning qualifying session in a half-full arena lacking energy, atmosphere, and comparative greatness, might suffer.

- Fifth: USA Gymnastics holds a national trials to determine its Olympic team. Except it doesn't really. It's a made-for-TV program. While there is judging, only the top two scorers (after meeting certain scoring qualifications) get an automatic spot on the team. A committee chooses the other spots because everyone agrees that judging is inherently flawed.
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ClintonMagus
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Addressing the gymnastics issue, I know something about this because my daughter competed for about six years. I know all about the subjectivity of the scoring. In her best beam routine ever, she "lost" to a girl who fell off the beam. Her coach protested the score, based partly on a video from another mom that showed one beam judge was watching an adjacent uneven bars routine instead of my daughter's beam routine. The judge's reasoning was that she had been doing this long enough that she could properly score by watching "out of the corner of her eye". I have also seen gymnasts get lower scores simply because they competed early, and the judges evidently felt that they needed to allow some "headroom" for later competitors.

As for the Olympic team selection, the "top two scorers" thing is technically true, but I don't ever remember seeing anyone selected who was not among the top scorers. One "semi-tangible" thing that might be considered is an athlete's strength on an individual apparatus when he/she may not be the strongest on the others.

It is what it is, and it's not going to change the course of human events, but I would rather see the Olympics truly represent the best athletes.
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Dannydoyle
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Then invite individual athletes as opposed to countries.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
ClintonMagus
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Quote:
On 2012-07-31 09:55, Dannydoyle wrote:
Then invite individual athletes as opposed to countries.


As I said, "It is what it is". As far as I know, I can't invite anyone to the Olympics...
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critter
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"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
ClintonMagus
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Don't know about Olympics, but at Junior Olympics, there is a cash fee for filing an appeal that gets returned if your appeal is upheld.
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tomsk192
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Well, I'm just down the road from the Olympic park, and USA women gymnasts just handed out a can of whupass. Well done those gymnasts. It was a cracking team effort.
ClintonMagus
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Watched it online when I should have been paying attention on a conference call. Everyone wondered what the "YEAH!!!" was about... Smile
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