Medal Tally


November 2004

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30        

Photo Albums

Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 08/2004

« HEY Khorkina! Quit Hogging The Spotlight!! | Main | Alan Webb: Fails To Advance »

August 20, 2004

Comments

Kirsten Haviland

I want to say to Paul to keep his head up. He has a wonderful spirit to put up with this nonsense then put up with the crowd. Fine there might be judge issues but everyone needs to respect the other competetors. Paul, you did great and you deserve the gold. You are very talented and the US is very proud to have you in the Olympics and we can't wait to see you again. God bless and frame that gold medal with pride.

Christina

How sad that Paul Hamm won't give up his gold medal even though he knows that he didn't win it. Isn't he even embarassed to know that he was never suppose to win that gold? And what an arrogant prick he is for saying he deserves the gold. You don't deserve anything. Hasn't he ever heard of anything called sportsmanship?

srkeppen

Christina how dare you call Paul Hamm an arrogant prick. How would know anything of the sort about him, you have never met him. I wholeheartly deserves his gold metal. I feel bad for the Korean who would have gotten the gold medal if the judges had done their job right, but you can't blame Paul Hamm for the judges mistakes. You know who I am embarassed for? I am embarassed for all of the fans in the stadium August 24th who booed Paul Hamm right before he went on, and after his score was announced for high bar. They showed me what complete asses they could be, and what the olympics should not be about. I am also embarassed for people like you who have written nasty comments about Paul on the internet. People like you are what make watching sporting events like the olympics no fun at all. Just leave Paul Hamm alone and get back to focusing on your own sad, sorry life.

Tiffany

There's a whole lot of be contested in the all-around. Yang Tae-Young would have gotten an extra tenth for his difficulty, but he would have also gotten a mandatory two-tenths for four holds, instead of the maximum of three. And so, it can be concluded, that if they wanted to really scrutinize those tapes, and correct every little mistake, well, Yang might not even get bronze.

To be frank: I agree with Paul Hamm that they never should have reviewed the tapes in the first place. They've never done it before, why change now? If you could contest medals this way, every medal from here to the ancient games would have to be re-examined. Once you do it once, you can't refuse the examination to others, a lot like once a kid in class gives one guy gum, you've got to give everyone else gum too. Don't set the bad precedent, its not good for future competitors, and its not fair to anyone now. The meet is over. Over. That means, good or bad, it has ended. The rule is fair for Paul Hamm, and fair also for Yang Tae-Young.

But, even if I do agree with Paul Hamm on this, and even if I do support him and believe that he really deserved this medal, I think he should act just a tad more humble. The South Koreans have a grudge against us from the last speed-skating incident at the Winter Olympics, and just or unjust (its not for anyone to judge!), it exists. The Olympics were founded on sportsmanship and unity, and even if the world isn't quite 100% united right now, Paul Hamm can still show the world that Americans are selfless and fair by respecting his competitor. He shouldn't exactly just hand the medal over, because its still not totally decided whose score would be higher, but he shouldn't really... well... cling to it this way.

Paul Hamm is inspiring and it has nothing at all to do with getting first place. It has to do with his good gymnastics and his comeback and his blocking out the crowd at the event finals. Break the stereotypes. Be the better man. Act more humble, if not feel more humble. If you really want to rise above all these complications, that's the way to do it.

To Christina: tone it down! He is not an arrogant prick, and if a lifetime of work doesn't deserve a medal I don't know what does! He doesn't know he didn't win it, and no one does, because he might have! See the two-tenths deduction part!

To Srkeppen: They were way out of line booing Paul Hamm's high one, but I don't know if you should really be hating them or calling them asses, because if Christina shouldn't judge Paul Hamm without meeting him, should judge the fans?

John

If it was the other way around and the Korean had won the Gold most of you would be doing what the fans did on the 24th. So to skreppen, stfu and don't accuse others of not knowing paul hamm, because you probably don't know him either. There are athletes who are graceful and when they win say "thanks to my team and coach and hard work i got here," and then there is paul hamm who says, "i'm the best, blah blah blah, i won't even share the medal in the spirit of sportsmenship."

Paul

It's not very difficult to imagine which way this discussion would go on this very forum if the South Korean were in Hamm's shoes. To the rest of the world Hamm personifies the ugly "winning is everything" and "the end justifies the means" character of Americans in general...in sports, everyday life and international relations. Shameless and greedy till the end.

Dave

It seems as though everyone (and i mean those on the other side of the Hamm wagon as well) is missing the essential point that Hamm did not, in fact win the gold medal. Every argument I have read regarding Hamm's supposed "win" has completely negated this fact. People most often throw up the fact that the issue "should not even have been raised". I am baffled that they seem to feel that the fact that a deserved Olympic gold medalist being unjustly deprived of their medal is not a worthy issue to be brought to the table. Paul Hamm competed very, very well. No one denies that. But the FACT remains that he DID NOT WIN. Given this undisputed fact, he ought to give the medal over to the rightful winner. I understand he worked his whole life for the gold, but so did every other gymnast there. Why is he he more deserving simply because he wants it? I would think that the knowledge that the medal is ill-gotten would be enough to entice him to do the ethical thing. It really is a simple case of right and wrong, and no amount of second guessing or saying that "the rules don't allow it" will change that. I am amazed that people seem so willing to say, "to hell with ethics: he didn't win, but it's ok"...but then again, there IS Mr. Bush...

Lisa

The main problem surrounding this issue is that the people who are writing the newspaper articles, doing the TV reporting, etc, do not understand the sport of gymnastics.

All gymnasts, no matter what level they are competing at, have been "screwed over" by a judge. That sucks, but it happens. Judges miss stuff, and it can work to both the athlete's advantage and disadvantage. In the Korean's high bar routine, they got the wrong start value, to his detriment. However, in his parallel bar routine they missed a mandatory two tenth deduction, working VERY MUCH to his advantage. It works both ways. Judges are falliable, and the rule book accounts for this. The Koreans had an avenue to pursue immediately after the high bar routine to protest the score, and they didn't take advantage of that. If you let the judges start reviewing tapes after every competition, you will find that not only would some final ranks change, but that likely EVERY score of EVERY routine would be changed after another review of the tape.

I would draw a very loose analogy to the Japanese swimmer who beat the American in the breaststroke. After review of the tape by the underwater camera, it is seen that he did an illegal dolphin kick and should have been disqualified. But, since the official missed it, he wins the gold. There has been no worldwide outcry for him to not only give back the medal, but disqualify himself.

This differs, as Hamm himself made no equivalent error. However, the Korean's erred by not protesting the score by the time they rotated to the next event.

Congratulations Paul! You showed strength and resolve this week after being under such scrutiny!

Lisa

The main problem surrounding this issue is that the people who are writing the newspaper articles, doing the TV reporting, etc, do not understand the sport of gymnastics.

All gymnasts, no matter what level they are competing at, have been "screwed over" by a judge. That sucks, but it happens. Judges miss stuff, and it can work to both the athlete's advantage and disadvantage. In the Korean's high bar routine, they got the wrong start value, to his detriment. However, in his parallel bar routine they missed a mandatory two tenth deduction, working VERY MUCH to his advantage. It works both ways. Judges are falliable, and the rule book accounts for this. The Koreans had an avenue to pursue immediately after the high bar routine to protest the score, and they didn't take advantage of that. If you let the judges start reviewing tapes after every competition, you will find that not only would some final ranks change, but that likely EVERY score of EVERY routine would be changed after another review of the tape.

I would draw a very loose analogy to the Japanese swimmer who beat the American in the breaststroke. After review of the tape by the underwater camera, it is seen that he did an illegal dolphin kick and should have been disqualified. But, since the official missed it, he wins the gold. There has been no worldwide outcry for him to not only give back the medal, but disqualify himself.

This differs, as Hamm himself made no equivalent error. However, the Korean's erred by not protesting the score by the time they rotated to the next event.

Congratulations Paul! You showed strength and resolve this week after being under such scrutiny!

Dan

Being "screwed" over, although common (perhaps) is still not EVER ok. Why is it suddenly ok in this case? Why do other cases of being "screwed over" make this case justifiable? (the supposed two tenths deduction found was "found" by Hamm's coach and has not been acknowledged by the FIG, by the way). And yes, if the error has been found too late after the fact, there are rules to govern that. But, if the Korean officials were told to file a complaint at a later time and were then penalized for that, it is STILL not right. I do not believe that the Koreans, displeased with the outcome of the competition, then searched for something to vindicate themselves, found the error, and chose to pursue it. I admire Paul Hamm for his competitive fortitude and will to perservere, but he didn't win the all-around title. Nothing will ever change that. Even if he keeps the gold medal (which he seems hell-bent on doing), the truth is now out in the open. No amount of rationalization will change that now. It is up to him and those advising him, to do the ethical thing.

Jen

I've heard a few interviews while he was on the floor like last night and a comment made by a commentator that they talked to Paul, but where did Paul say "I'm the best, blah, blah, blah. I won't even share the medal in the spirit of sportsmenship." I know that he said he feels he is the all around champion. But I didn't see him saying that so maybe someone has a post or link to where it was quoted him saying something to that effect. For those that are implying a "supposed" mistake not deducted in the Koreans parallel bar routine and only Paul and his coach finding it are wrong. They showed it last night and re-played his routine clearly showing the 4 holds and one commentator came out and said Paul is clearly the olympic champion and that they proved it that night. After seeing that re-play myself and knowing that there was a missed .2 deduction there wasn't a doubt in my mind that the way Paul is acting is totally justified. I think it would be wrong for him to give over the gold medal. If you're going to review one portion of it why not go back and review each aperatus of both competitors. Why not? Because it's in the rules that they can't and yet for the Koreans they did. I think it's wrong and like someone else said previously it's just opened the door to I'd think the judges worst nightmare of future and even since then numerous protests. The only way to fix it is to completely overhaul the judging. But you can't go back and say we screwed up because I'd say they've screwed up (screwed over) a majority if not all of the gymnatists in the past at one time or another. I think more of the media and attention should be brought up about this .2 missed deduction in fairness to Paul. The FIG won't come forward and admit it unless perhaps another protest happened, but even then I don't think they'd admit it because then how imperfect and incorrect would it show the judging is. No, you can bet they won't touch that one I just wish the media would bring it to the forefront so that people don't have this misconception that the only error that night was the judges not giving the correct start value.

Mary

I do not know Paul Hamm personally, but I believe him to be a "True Olympian". He has shown great character, strength and great sportsmanship in the face of controversy and in spite of Olympian fans booing and hackling him. I for one am very proud of Paul Hamm and his display of courage. Paul – hang in there. For me you will always be a GOLD winner and all around Olympian champion!

srkeppen

I'm sorry for some of the comments I made. I wrote these comments in the heat of the moment. I should have written what I wanted to say in a nicer manner. John I can honestly say that if things were the other way around I still wouldn't have acted the way the fans in the stadium acted. The olympics are about countries coming together to compete and have a good time. This whole mess concerning Paul Hamm is unfortunate. I wish that media and others could just put this all to rest and get on with covering other sports that we have yet to see coverage of. This whole situation has ruined the good time I have been having watching the olympics. I have been having fun watching all the althletes compete, because many of them are only a year or two younger or older than me. I am looking foward to watching rhythmic gymnastics this Saturday and Sunday. Again, I am sorry for some of the rude comments I made. I am no better than the people who have been writtent nasty comments about Paul Hamm. I am truly sorry if anyone was offended by my comments.

Tiffany

It is NOT FACT that Paul Hamm didn't win the gold medal. In gymnastics scoring, there is very little fact. It's a SUBJECTIVE sport, which means that there's no such thing as the completely perfect accurate score. Even if you did go over every routine and picked it apart, you still wouldn't manage to find an absolute answer as to who won. That's why the rules say that when the meet ends, the meet ends. They don't just pick judges off the street and let them decide. What the judges decide is about as close to perfect as we can get. There's always going to be mistakes, in Yang's favor and in Paul Hamm's, but you can't go back and change the medals now.

Craig

Keep consoling yourselves people, but Paul Hamm will be always remembered as the loser who took the medal he didn't deserve, NEVER as an Olympic champion. That's what he'll have to live with for the rest of his life. The rest of us can debate till we choke...

Ian

This is an awkward situation for everyone, but Paul Hamm has a chance to fix it. How? Approach the IOC and tell them that he would like to appear as part of the closing ceremonies, during which he will hand his gold medal over to Yang.

Picture a darkened stadium, spotlights following the two of them as they walk towards each other from opposite ends, the Byrds Turn! Turn! Turn! as the soundtrack, Paul removing the medal from round his neck and placing it round Yang's, a strong handshake and embrace ... with the whole world watching, it could become one of the most memorable moments in Olympic history.

And then, unknown to Paul, a third person appears -- a young, Greek gymnast -- bringing a second gold medal -- handing it to Yang to place around Paul's neck. No one who sees it would ever forget the Athens Olympics.

A fantastic display of sportsmanship -- it's what the Olympics is supposed to be about.

Melissa

Had an athlete from any other nation "not won" the gold medal as many accuse Paul Hamm of doing, there would be none of this garbage. It's merely because Hamm is American, and there's enough anti-American sentiment (much of it deserved) in the world right now.

However, it is not Hamm's fault that the scoring was incorrect, and to blame him or demand that he give the medal back is inappropriate and unfair. The US gymnastics committee has said several times since this scandal broke that it would have no problem with a duplicate gold being awarded if an error was admitted by the judges. Sharing, respecting-- the American committee is doing what the Olympic spirit is all about. The rest of the world, however, is overlooking that.

Hamm should not be demonized here. Scrutinize the judging procedures and the errors made there-- not by the gymnast who wound up on the top of the podium.

Hannah

I really do believe that all this Paul Hamm bashing is uncalled for. I think that he did his best throughout the competition and that the Korean did as well, but that doesn't mean Paul Hamm should be a "magnanimous person" and give away his medal. For one thing, changing the results will prove the world that pouters and whiners will be "justly" rewarded. It's over. It like playing dodgeball and getting hit while tying your shoelace. You can't complain because you didn't call a "timeout."

The Olympics is the biggest playground in the world. I think that all this bullying is ruining the fun for everyone else.

I think both the athletes are fine with the situation. Everyone else seems to blow this completely out of proportion. It wasn't as if Paul Hamm paid the judges or threatened them. So why blame him? Oh yeah because he says he feels that he is a true Olympic champion and wouldn't "act magnanimously." Exactly, it is an act if he did give the medal away. I seriously believe that Paul would prefer less publicity, if he is coerced to act "ethically."

Hannah

I really do believe that all this Paul Hamm bashing is uncalled for. I think that he did his best throughout the competition and that the Korean did as well, but that doesn't mean Paul Hamm should be a "magnanimous person" and give away his medal. For one thing, changing the results will prove the world that pouters and whiners will be "justly" rewarded. It's over. It's like playing dodgeball and getting hit while tying your shoelace. You can't complain because you didn't call a "timeout."

The Olympics is the biggest playground in the world. I think that all this bullying is ruining the fun for everyone else.

Both the athletes are fine with the situation. Everyone else seems to blow this completely out of proportion. It wasn't as if Paul Hamm paid the judges or threatened them. So why blame him? Oh yeah because he says he feels that he is a true Olympic champion and wouldn't "act magnanimously." Exactly, it is an act if he did give the medal away. I seriously believe that Paul would prefer less publicity, if he is coerced to act "ethically."

Kathy

I think the Koreans should just leave Paul Hamm and his gold medal alone. First, they're protesting that the bronze medal winner deserved the gold medal since the judges made a mistake on the start value, but the judges also made a scoring mistake in the Korean's favour as well. That fourth hold was it, and the judges obviously didn't take account for that mistake. So either way the judges made a mistake... like they always do. If the Koreans like to protest their anger, maybe everyone else should. So what now?? Every gets re-judged perfectly down to the little step to the bent arms to the arched back??? Ok let's do that now and waste money and time and see people moving up and down ranks. Stupid idea. Judges are not computers that make no mistakes. They're human they make mistakes. So technically the Korean was suppose to finish in fourth place behind Ioan Silviu Suciu. So I guess that means the Korean guy wants fourth now? Instead of third? Well how honorable. It's stupid to think Paul Hamm should give up his medal. Why? Because he obviously earned it. Some people say it's the right thing to do and people will respect you for it. Ok... then let's give the gold medal to the guy who should have come in fourth. No wonder he's so angry about this whole controversy! Everybody's telling him to give it up! What the HELL!!! And the idea of a second gold medal being awarded? To the guy who was suppose to finish fourth? SHOULDN'T HAPPEN!!! Paul deserves that all- around gold to himself, and has every right in the world to say MY GOLD MEDAL NOW BACK OFF... because? Damn straight it's his gold medal! So Paul, good choice keeping your gold medal, for that I already respect you.

Paul

Kathy, you're right...why should Hamm return his medal? It doesn't fit in with the 'American Ideal'...whatever that is...

Charlotte

Paul Hamm makes me embarassed for the US. His attitude (I don't WANT to share the gold! I won't give my medal up!) Just goes to show American are greedy, unsportsman like, and want to win at any costs. Alexei Nemov from Russia was better than Paul. And if I was there I would have booed him along with everyone else. Just because he is an American doesn't mean I am going to stand by him & his decision. He is acting like a child and he should give the gold medal to the Korean. Sure, it isn't his fault the judges messed up, but if he was a real sportsman, he would willingly give up the gold, because he knows he didn't really deserve it. I'm glad that the rest of the world knows he really didn't win it. I hope from now on, whenever he sees that medal, he is filled with shame.

Ken

This is really fascinating stuff. It's kind of like those biblical parables they read to you in Sunday School. I have read a lot about this controversy and it seems to me that both sides of this debate make some good, valid points, but each side is really arguing about two separate things.

The "pro" Paul Hamm side (who say that Paul Hamm should keep his gold medal or should not support a second gold medal) talk a lot about the rules, human errors, etc. And on those points, I have to agree with them. Yes, there is human judging and referring error in all of sports, and yes, Paul Hamm did nothing wrong, and yes, he put on an incredible performance that night of the all-around competition.

But, at the end of the day, while I acknowledge all of those prior points, I have to side with those of you who are making a different type of argument. Given that even the president of the gymnastics governing body, the International Gymnastics Federation, has said that "the true winner of the All-Around competition is Yang Tae Young" (See 08/26/04 letter from Bruno Grandi to Paul Hamm - attached below), how can Paul Hamm in good conscience not at the very least support a second gold medal for the Korean gymnast? It's really not about who is or is not the "true" all-around gymnastics champion. It's about looking your kids in their eyes some day when they have an ethical dilemma and saying to them "do the right thing" without a lump in your throat. Some day, the Paul Hamm dilemma, in some form or another, is going to find its way into every ethics course and textbook in the country and if you're not sure what the correct answer is going to be, then go ask your Sunday School teacher.

Letter from Bruno Grandi to Paul Hamm:

Le President
Bruno Grandi
Athens, 26th August 2004
FAIRPLAY
Dear Paul,

Firstly may I extend to you and to the USA team my heartfelt congratulations for your magnificent results at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. (Related item: USOC's response)

I have addressed this letter to you after having read the following statements attributed to you in the American press: "It was very hard to focus after what has happened the previous days. At this moment, I don't feel that I have to give back my medal. If the FIG will decide that I have to give it back, I'll do it. There are many different options about what I have to do. I can understand my Korean opponent. I believe that something is going to happen soon."

This declaration, which gave me great pleasure, was made by a great gymnast and true champion who has the highest ethical values. This act, which demonstrates the highest level of honesty, places you amongst the true Olympic champions. I wish to confirm that your words grant you the highest esteem from the worldwide gymnastics family.

I wish to remind you that the FIG Executive Committee has admitted the error of judgement made on the Parallel Bars and suspended the three responsible judges, two from the A panel and the FIG Technical Committee member. Indeed, the start value of the Korean gymnast Yang Tae Young was given as 9.9 instead of 10. As a result, the true winner of the All-Around competition is Yang Tae Young.

If, (according to your declarations to the press), you would return your medal to the Korean if the FIG requested it, then such an action would be recognised as the ultimate demonstration of Fairplay by the whole world. The FIG and the IOC would highly appreciate the magnitude of this gesture.

At this moment in time, you are the only one who can make this decision. (Related letter: USOC responds to FIG letter)

With my best regards and deepest respect,

Bruno Grandi, FIG President

Claudio

How can a country like the USA get so far in every aspect of human endeavor with such a lack of objectivity? It always amazes me. How can you guys go around and around accusing everybody of this and that and forget the real question here. It is not a question of examining in excruciating detail the athletes’ performance; it was an obvious mistake, recognized by an international federation with no partiality (unlike most of you). The judges have been suspended. Hamm is a great gymnast and works his ass off to be where he is (I guess probably as much as the Korean guy or most of the other gymnast for that matter), and I admire that. But he has not proven yet that he is humble and magnanimous at the same time. Unfortunately for him there is only one thing to do is to give back the medal and accept the judgment. It is better to be remembered as a grandiose person than as a gymnast that didn't really win it. After all the medals are only tokens of remembrance of ones accomplishments. He will know in his heart every time he looks at it that it is sitting around the wrong neck.

Kyrah

Paul doesn't have to "prove" anything to anyone. There is nothing for him to justify; he is not being selfish or unsportsmanlike or unethical and I disagree with anyone who would suggest he is. The Koreans created a big stink, and Paul and the USOC are being wrongly accused of the smell.

The comments to this entry are closed.