Watching the Olympics this year has been more enjoyable than in years past (likely because I’m watching them in HD now, and I hardly watched them before), but also has been more frustrating now that I’m paying more attention to it. My complaints are not unlike many others out there in the blogosphere and Internet at large. Watching the women’s gymnastics are really where most of my gripes arose.
My largest complaint in watching the women’s gymnastics was the scoring discrepancies that seemed to occur. Granted, I’m not a professional judge by any means, but there were a fair share of cases where the scores did not match at all with other comparable performances. I heard it was more prevalent in the women’s than the men’s gymnastics, but that wasn’t my worst gripe about it all. It contributed to it, however. What really irked me was the means by which they’ve used to break ties in gymnastics.
The first tiebreaker I’m okay with. It seems a little arbitrary to just accept the deductions score for this, but that’s at least a judge of performance. The second tiebreaker kills me because it really favors gymnasts with split scoring. I’d be more inclined to just award a joint-medal as was done in the past. I wonder if the statistical ramifications of the scoring system have been considered before settling on these “standards.” I really want to rant more, but it’s no more than other people have already griped about.
My other gripe is the dilemma involving the Chinese gymnasts Kexin and Yuyuan. As I understand it, China has provided and demonstrated that their passports authenticate their ages. However, pre-existing information that was located on the Internet regarding local and regional competitions seemed to indicate the both of them are not even fifteen years of age. To make matters worse, it appears this information is disappearing even faster than it was discovered. Add on the fact that even a few sources were modified instead of being deleted, and it really starts to sound like a massive cover-up operation, especially when the NY Times is reporting on the same information.
The International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) official response to all of this has been that China provided the relevant documentation that establishes the girls’ ages. The insinuation has been growing that China could have forged these documents in order to allow them to compete. The hard part now is whether or not someone is willing to call China on it’s bluff, if they really have forged documents to their own personal gain. On top of that, it’s dubious just to what extent the IOC will go to validate this information. It shocks me that they are so avid in regards to drug testing and enforcing it, yet this debacle has hardly earned a second glance by the committee.
I really don’t want to blame China for all of this, but just by association they’re getting a bad rap in my personal opinion. How these pieces of drama continue to play out will ultimately determine how many a person will like view China in their further developing image.