Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Proof of my earlier argument

Remember the blog post I made when this little corner of the web was created? The one about sport v. competition? Well, the Summer Games in Beijing was kind enough to prove me right.

Gymnastics, while difficult to perform, is competition, not sport.

Sorry, Mom and Dad. This isn't about how great a tumbler your little Kaylee is. It's not about that at all.

The fact that the outcome of an event is based SOLELY on the opinion of judges reduces it to competition. You aren't alone. Figure skating is right there with you to keep you company.

I know what you're saying...what about boxing?

In boxing, there is always the knockout to remove all doubt.

The proof comes in Nastia Liukin not winning gold in the uneven bars. It came down to a tie breaker after her, and the 13 year old gymnast (He Kexin) had been given identical scores. I am simply not smart enough to decipher the code in this, but basically, Kexin had fewer deductions in her routine (again, based on the opinion of the judges) than Liukin.

Where's my Advil?

I won't get into the politics of a 13 year old competing in the Olympics, when by rule, she needs to be 16. It doesn't matter that China is the host, and the girl in question is, in fact, Chinese. Bela Karolyi said during a recent telecast that "age doping" has been going on for a long time, so there's no point in arguing about it.

So I won't. This isn't about my American blood boiling because one of the team gymnasts got the short end of the tie-breaker stick, either. Just simply saying thanks to the Summer games for showing that opinions shouldn't decide 1st or 2nd place in sports. In case of a tie (in the Olympics), reward 2 medals for the respective finish (which gymnastics used to do, but eliminated in Atlanta in 1996).

I guess there is no substitute for home court advantage, after all.

Mike Solarte

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