Tuesday, February 2, 2010


The more I've been watching gymnastics lately, the more I'm kind of getting miffed that things (i.e. rules) are not more standardized. I mean, gymnasts basically give up their entire youth to dedicate it to their sport. And it seems like, depending on what era it has been throughout history, results could have been drastically different than they are.

Let's take the '89-'92 Quad. Well, you didn't have to nail two vaults in the all-around because you got to drop your lowest score. Good thing, since gymnasts like Onodi fell on one of them in the '92 Olympic AA (I know she wasn't going to win an AA medal, but still...). And, by the same token, good thing in the '06-08 Quad, Nastia didn't need two different vaults like gymnasts did in the '97-'00 Quad, or she might have been screwed.

And in the '89-'92 Quad, even if your difficulty hypothetically went over a 10.0, if you made a big enough mistake, it didn't matter. Risk did not necessarily = reward. Look at Kim Gwang Suk's uneven bar routine in event finals. (Why this didn't at least get a bronze, btw, is beyond me). (The fact that she was prob. underage aside).

And, I mean, technically, it's always been the rule that pirouettes on uneven bars should end in handstand. But this was never enforced until '06. Well, gee, that sure did come in handy for the 5 previous years for the Romanians. In fact, form in general was conveniently ignored for a good while, at least as compared to the degree to which it's considered important now.

And what about ties? In '92 they were allowed, and there were several. If memory serves me, wasn't there a 3-way tie for bronze on FX. WTF? Now, we go to obscure tie-breaking means, as in Beijing with Nastia & He Kexin. But had that been 16 years earlier, a tie would have been no big deal! And why is it that when there's a tie for say, second place (back in the day when ties were allowed), there's no bronze medal given? There's still technically someone whose score was third-best and it's not her fault that the 2 of the 3 people above her tied. Someone is getting screwed out of receiving a medal. And remember the days when falling meant losing the chance of winning a medal? Well, no more since Shanshan won a medal at the '07 Worlds and Cheng Fei won bronze on vault in Beijing. But, if the rules had allowed such things in the past, then who knows, Mo Huilan may have won a medal in the AA in Sabae at the '95 Worlds! Even minuscule obscure rules like I think in '95 at National level competition, gymnasts got .1 bonus for doing 2 different vaults. And what about the Phelps vault, the thing I abhor more than any other skill... no one really enforced the layout position (deducting for pike), nor did anyone pay attention to the twisting direction! IG had a good write up on this in '97 or '98, in which they concluded that, depending on the direction in which the gymnast twists, it could be considered two different vaults, and that technically, Amanar was the only one performing it correctly! Did no one care about rules?!

Arg, it's just frustrating how arbitrary some things can be.


tkatchif-your-lucky said...

It seems perfectly logical to me that if there is a tie for 2nd place, then no bronze should be given. In this instance there are still 3 people ahead of the next person, so they are 4th. Bronze is for the 3rd highest competitor, not the 3rd highest unique score.

Elizabethavery said...

hmm...sorry, I still bronze for the 3rd highest unique score. I mean, why not?