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Summer Olympics 2008
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Yulie



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1150
Location: Elsewhere

PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Going back to gymnastics and age, I just came across the following and thought others may be interested. I think this is pretty cool:

Quote:
Neither of them competed in vault, where Cheng followed the best effort of the night, a 16.075, with her huge error, ending up with the bronze behind Oksana Chusovitina of Germany... Chusovitina, competing for Germany for the first time but in her fifth Olympics, won silver. A native of Uzbekistan and now a German citizen, the 33-year-old Chusovitina said she "feels 18."

(empashis mine; full story on ESPN)
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Cora



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 1129
Location: Bremen, Germany

PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oksana Chusovitina's silver medal win is certainly cool and her performance looked incredible, particularly considering she's 33. Apparently, Chusovitina won a team gold medal for the GUS back in 1992.

But unfortunately, Chusovitina's win (and the two German bronze medal winners of today) was somewhat overshadowed in the German media by swimmer Britta Steffen winning her second gold medal, narrowly beating the 41-year-old American swimmer.
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Jane G



Joined: 29 Jun 2007
Posts: 277
Location: Washington, DC

PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just watched the Vault competition. While I did think the German woman deserved to medal, I can't believe Alicia Sacramone didn't. The gold medalist landed out of bounds, and the bronze medalist fell, while Sacramone had no major problems. Ridiculous.
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Sandlynn



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 1822
Location: Washington, D.C.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any competition that primarily is decided by subjective judging -- and not timing or scoring -- I always take with a grain of salt.
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 6635
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jane G wrote:
I just watched the Vault competition. While I did think the German woman deserved to medal, I can't believe Alicia Sacramone didn't. The gold medalist landed out of bounds, and the bronze medalist fell, while Sacramone had no major problems. Ridiculous.



I agree. Very disappointing.
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 6635
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Sandlynn"]This guy has a nice body. I wonder who he is?

Sandlynn...When you get a moment, put up a photo of Ryan Lochte...he's a cutie too!! (I'll miss watching the swimming.... Crying or Very sad ) thanks!!
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Yulie



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't watch the vault, but as I understand it Alicia Sacramone did two vaults with a lower degree of difficulty. The new scoring system tries to reward both execution and difficulty, and the medalists did harder vaults, which balanced the poorer execution. If anything, this was a real mistake on the part of Sacramone and the US team; they were essentially giving away points to her competitors, which at this level strikes me as a pretty dumb thing to do. The bronze medalist, by the way, fell on her second valut but had the highest score on her first, so on average it worked out for her.

I know a lot of people don't like a system in which you can have an imperfect performance and still get on the podium, but I think in the long run it's important to reward risk-taking and innovation. They may need to tinker with how they score specific things (certainly that's the case with figure skating) but the overall concept of it works for me.
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Jane G



Joined: 29 Jun 2007
Posts: 277
Location: Washington, DC

PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

^^ I understand, and appreciate the reasons that they changed the scoring, but I still can't believe that Sacramone landed both her vaults, and hte bronze medalist actually fell, and made another fairly major technical mistake in doing that vault. Hers may have been harder, but she couldn't do it. At least not in that moment, when it counts. Maybe Sacramone should have tried a harder vault, but it's not like her start values were ridiculously low. One was 5.8, and the other was 6.3. The 5.8 was lower than most of the others, but 6.3 was about where the rest of the gymnasts were.
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Sandlynn



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

xina wrote:
Sandlynn...When you get a moment, put up a photo of Ryan Lochte...he's a cutie too!! (I'll miss watching the swimming.... Crying or Very sad ) thanks!!


I don't know that these are the best pictures in the world, but here are a couple:



Damn flowers.
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LeeB.



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1279
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sandlynn wrote:
Any competition that primarily is decided by subjective judging -- and not timing or scoring -- I always take with a grain of salt.

Yep. I feel the same way watching the ice skating in the winter Olympics.

It's very frustrating to spend so many years in training for your sport and then have politics (or whatever) determine whether you win or lose. Better to participate in sports that use points (like tennis, badminton, volleyball) or that work against the clock.
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 6635
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank-you Sandlynn!!!! Laughing Cute...isn't he? It's funny...I was reading on another board where some posters were picturing the swimming team as ancient Scottish Highlanders protecting their women and their castles. I had to laugh. I wonder what Phelps and his crew would think of that. Then it got me thinking........hmmmmm. not so far-fetched.
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Yulie



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1150
Location: Elsewhere

PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LeeB. wrote:
I feel the same way watching the ice skating in the winter Olympics.

It's very frustrating to spend so many years in training for your sport and then have politics (or whatever) determine whether you win or lose. Better to participate in sports that use points (like tennis, badminton, volleyball) or that work against the clock.

I'm not sure it's politics per se so much as other things (cliques, petty grudges, etc.). In addition, scores in subjectively scored sports seem to me to be greatly impacted by whether or not the athlete has already made a name for him/herself. In figure skating, for instance, the program components mark (what replaced artistic impression after the SLC judging scandal) is often used to hold up good skaters who've had bad performances, so they have more room for error. At this year's figure skating Worlds, for instance, the men's European champion skated a truly awful long program, and the gap between his two marks was almost comical. Of course, since some of what that mark rewards is skating skills and interpretation, I guess a good skater can have a performance that's low on content but still displays good basic skills and choreography/interpretation.

Another problem, I think, is that athletes representing smaller countries or ones who have less of a tradition in the sport in question can have a much harder time getting the marks they deserve. I guess no one is looking out for them.

Still, a lot of what gets put under the heading of politics strikes me as differences in the style judges prefer. Again looking at figure skating because that's what I'm more familiar with, American, Russian, French and Chinese skaters tend to have very different styles; judges more used to a certain style may also be more appreciative of it. I think to some extent this was what happened with some of the judges of the pair's event in SLC, who most likely just prefered the Russian style (not the French judge, who had other concerns Smile ). After all, the Russians originally finished ahead because of the second mark; the Canadians beat them on the technical part. Personally, I always felt it was much closer than the North American media, particularly in the US, portrayed it. Breaking the scores down into elements and rewarding competitors per element, as the new scoring systems do, probably lessens the political effect. Or at least it should.

By the way, wouldn't politically motivated officiating also impact team/point-based sports to some degree? After all, judges decide what's a foul, what counts as being out of bounds, what should be ratified as a point scored etc. If you want to avoid subjective judging you'd better just go run the 100m; no question of who won there Very Happy
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Sandlynn



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 1822
Location: Washington, D.C.

PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yulie wrote:
By the way, wouldn't politically motivated officiating also impact team/point-based sports to some degree? After all, judges decide what's a foul, what counts as being out of bounds, what should be ratified as a point scored etc. If you want to avoid subjective judging you'd better just go run the 100m; no question of who won there Very Happy


I agree that there's potential for mischief in sports that require referees -- whether you're in international competition or not -- but the whole performance doesn't rest on the officiating. When two people hit homeruns, make baskets, or ace serves, there's no judge awarding points and declaring one homerun, slamdunk, or ace better than the other, let alone deciding that a single counts more than a double or a homerun because the guy's form was prettier. Laughing
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Yulie



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1150
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sandlynn wrote:
When two people hit homeruns, make baskets, or ace serves, there's no judge awarding points and declaring one homerun, slamdunk, or ace better than the other, let alone deciding that a single counts more than a double or a homerun because the guy's form was prettier.

That's true - but a baseball umpire can call a strike zone that might impact and even decide a game, a basketball referee can selectively choose when to whistle and for what, football officials can be one-sided with the penalties. So while it may not be as obvious or perhaps as common as with subjectively judged sports, there's still plenty of things an official can do to decide a competition one way or another. One famous example of a game essentially decided by the officials' decisions is the controversial gold medal basketball game in the 1972 Olympics. A less political example would be game 5 of the 1997 NLCS, in which an unusually generous strike zone played a big part in the outcome. I'm not sure why I know these things Cool

I think, as I wrote in the previous post, that the new scoring systems in figure skating and gymnastics do try to remove some of the subjectivity so it's a step in the right direction. Scoring per element means the athletes have some control over their scoring because they can rack up a base value points for their routine/program. I'll allow that it's more complicated for certain elements (e.g. judging difficulty of spins in skating), and yes, the judges have some discretion with the grade of exectution - but whether or not the content is there is up to the athletes. And at least with figure skating, it's not just "his form was prettier" - it's more like the landing was cleaner, the jump took off on the correct edge, a pair's twist or throw had better height, the spin didn't travel, etc. If a double had better height or distance, it would be a homer Very Happy .
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Gail K.



Joined: 19 May 2007
Posts: 1292

PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I fell asleep before the Nastia Liukin thing last nite...How do people feel about tiebreaker rules for gymnastics? I personally am in favor of a sudden-death, do-over performance.
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