Sunday, July 29, 2012

Olympics Thoughts 7/29/2012

The Olympic experience provides drama everyday.  Today was no exception.

The men's 4 X 100 freestyle in swimming saw the team from France track down America's Ryan Lochte in the final leg to attain gold.  Did the Americans make a mistake?  I leave it the one of my favorite sports writes, Jennifer Floyd Engel, to provide the details here.

In women's gymnastics, Jordyn Wieber, the reigning all-around champion, was eliminated from that competition in the 2012 Olympics.  It's not that she wasn't good.  She was.  But only two gymnasts from each country can compete in the all-around finals.  Wieber was fourth best among the competitors.  She was third best for the United States.

Those are the rules.  Sometimes rules punish unfairly.  In this case, definitely.  It does not matter to me whether the slight came to a U.S. competitor or Russion, or Romanian or Chinese or any other country.  When the reigning world champion and fourth best in the competition is left out because of some arbitrary rule, that is injustice.

This is meant in no way to slight the excellent performances of Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman, the two Americans who outscored Wieber, but a condemnation of the system.

If the Olympics are supposed to be competition between the best of the elite, why eliminate one of the best because they happen to be from the same country as other great performers?

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