Olympic Hyprocrisy

Discussion in 'ATHENS 2004 non-badminton events' started by david14700, Aug 25, 2004.

  1. david14700

    david14700 Regular Member

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    I know this is nothing to do with badminton, but as most of us here are serious about sport and understand competitiveness and sportsmanship more than most, I wanted to know what everyone thought about the Hamm affair?

    This is the US gymnast who won gold because of a simple mathematical error by three judges (one of whom was an American) who were then suspended for it. Without the mistakes, he would have won silver instead, but he is refusing to hand the gold medal back and there are no rules about correcting this sort of error after the event has finished, so the governing body can't act. The head of the body said he 'hoped' Hamm would hand the medal back as a sign of sportsmanship, but Hamm has refused.

    What has upset me has been the outcry from many in the US media saying that Hamm is being victimised for being American and that he has every right to hold onto the medal. This is unbelievable because America was one of the countries who appealed in the Bettina Hoy incident in the Equestrian Three-Day eventing. If you don't know about this, she was a German rider (3 times Olympic champion) who won the gold medal, but had mistakenly ridden through the start line during her warm-up. The timing officials realised she was still warming up and reset the clock. If they had told her to keep riding, she would just have started, but they reset it and she continued her warm-up. She had a perfect round and won gold, but then the US (along with France and UK I think) appealed to have her medal taken away. This was soooo wrong! She was clearly the best rider and had gained no advantage but they were insisting she be stripped of her medal.

    Now, when an American athletes benefits from a mistake, their media is portraying the other countries as somehow being petty and unsportsman-like.

    This is all very telling in light of what's happening in Iraq and the difference it's made to everyone's perception of America around the world.

    Sorry if it's off subject, Kwun. If you feel it's inappropriate, please delete.

    Thanks
     
  2. Neil Nicholls

    Neil Nicholls Regular Member

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    People usually find different ways to look at things.
    If there is noting written down in the rules about how to handle a particular situation, then you get into a mess because it all becomes a matter of opinion.

    I think the gymnastics case is simpler than the equestrian.
    The officials made a mistake. The current rules mean they can promote the other gymnasts to a higher medal but not take away Paul Hamm's. So be it.
    The world knows Paul Hamm got his gold by mistake. If he's the sort of person who want's to think he won it fair and square, then that's up to him. The rest of the world can think of him what they will. It's not always woth your time to listen to the media.

    In the equestrian, the rider made the mistake, not the officials.
    As I understand it, the rules say that your round starts when you go through the start line. What happens to swimmers and runners if they make a false start? Even if they did it by mistake?

    What do you think would happen if on the first serve of badminton match, I serve into the net, and then say, "no that's not the start, that was just a warm-up serve".
     
  3. david14700

    david14700 Regular Member

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    S

    I get your points but I'm talking more about the whole idea of sportsmanship. It just doesn't seem right that fellow athletes should try to exploit another's innocent mistakes. Hamm was blameless in the event, and Bettina Hoy did make an error, but the fact that the other teams would appeal to the Court of Arbitration, even after the sport's own governing body had allowed her to keep the medal seems a bit harsh.

    If we're talking specifically about badminton, a closer scenario might be where it's 14-14 in the rubber game, we're not setting and you've just broken a string so you go and get a new racket. It's my turn to serve to you but instead of serving low, I wave my racket as if you I'm going to let you knock up with your new racket, and then when you hit a soft clear back to me, I smash it right back at you and claim I've won the match. Clearly within the rules of the game I've won but is it worth winning if the spirit of sport is completely missing?
     
  4. Neil Nicholls

    Neil Nicholls Regular Member

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    The more money involved, the less sportsmanship there is.
    When your sport is your job, it's different to people who play sport.

    Win at any cost.
    Nice guys finish last.
    History doesn't remember the runners-up.
    that's what losers say

    Even in a "friendly, social" game you still get the people who only play to win.

    It's obviously a natural human instinct. Rules and sportsmanship and etiquette are moral and ethical qualities based in thinking.
    Instinct and emotion often overrule thinking.
     
  5. Neil Nicholls

    Neil Nicholls Regular Member

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    P.S.
    I'm on your side really.
    I'm not one of the "win at any cost" type.
    I play for the enjoyment of the game, and I can even get enjoyment from losing a game 15-0.
     
  6. cooler

    cooler Regular Member

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    LOL, i know a guy who couldn't sleep if he lost more than 50% of the matches that evening under a social badminton game atmoshphere. He had improved, use to be he said that he couldn't sleep if he even lost 1 game that day.
     
  7. david14700

    david14700 Regular Member

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    Wow, I think I know that guy! He plays at my club too :p
     
  8. chibe_K

    chibe_K Regular Member

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    I am with you, I actually stop watching the Olympics for few days after finding out about this incident. I watched the gymnastic event on TV, thought that guy was pretty good and deserved a medal. Then when I found out later he won the gold by mistake, I had no doubt anyone would give it back, I would do that in no time if I were Paul Hamm. After all, Olympic is about sportsmanship, it is the spirit, do you think Tim Duncan makes money playing in Athens ?

    I feel for the Korean guy who is supposed to take the gold. The Olympic committee should be fair to him as well. It is all ******** whether the mistakes come from the judges, atheletics., rules....etc. It is all about who has the most influence and power.

    Did you follow another event in swimming ? Someone won the race, disqualified due to illegal turn, but later still won the gold after the decision was overruled.
     
  9. Adel

    Adel Regular Member

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    Long overdue post but yes, that dude was Aaron Peirsol and the event was the 200m backstroke. The decision was overruled because the judges did not fill in the disqualification form properly, which goes to show how f***ed up (pardon the language) and ridiculous the Olympics can get.

    As our friend Neils Nicholls very wisely puts it, "if there is noting written down in the rules about how to handle a particular situation, then you get into a mess because it all becomes a matter of opinion." I do not concur with Paul Hamm's actions but I do agree that he is, to a certain extent, being used as cannon fodder because of his nationality. It also does not help that with all the bad press surrounding US actions in Iraq, more controversies have to arise in the sporting arena involving the same country that people are already beginning to dislike.

    I feel bad for Yang Tae-Young as well - who wouldn't? - but in life, s*** really does happen and when you are unlucky enough to come the way of inept judges and less-than-honorable opponents, you just suck it up, no?
     

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