Sunday, August 22, 2004

Hamm Causing Trouble At The Olympics

Only days ago I mentioned that there were three competitors from the USA with the surname Hamm. Now there is a great deal of controversy surrounding one of them, Paul Hamm, and it wasn't any of his own doing.

He won the gold medal for the men's all-around gold medal but it is believed that two Koreans should have scored more than him due to an error in the judging. Read a short report about it here. It has been alleged that the Korean who won the silver was only given a difficulty level of 9.9 instead of 10 for his vault and his score would have been enough to register the gold medal. More relevant article.

I've been in the same boat as the Korean. In my final year at high school we had the Sports Day. I won two events, high jump and javelin, and knew how many points I had scored. I was surprised when my name wasn't read out as the second place getter for over 16 boys but absolutely shocked as it wasn't read out first. I tallied the points of the second place getter and realised that I had more points than him. I immediately lodged my protest with the Physical Education teacher who was in charge of the event.

It so happens that I did get my runners-up medal but can you imagine how I felt knowing that I had come second and it wasn't my face or name in the paper in the write up about the results and the winners?

Apparently the gold medal will stand and three technical judges have been disciplined. It doesn't matter that the athletes have to suffer? Paul Hamm will find it very hard to live with as everyone will consider him to be the American who took home gold when he only deserved bronze.

My relationship with the guy who had been announced as runner-up, Shaun Elston, didn't recover. I guess that he couldn't accept that I didn't accept the injustice dealt to me by the officials. Having said that, Shaun kept to himself quite a bit anyway but I getting the feeling that there is something niggling him still.

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