Olympic Gymnastics 2012: Two-Per Country Rule Penalizes Dominant Countries

Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIIJuly 30, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 26:  Alexandra Raisman, Jordyn Wieber and Kyla Ross of the United States practice the uneven bars during training sessions for artistic gymnastics ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games at Greenwich Training Academyon July 26, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Jordyn Wieber fell victim to the two-per country rule on Sunday at the Olympics, but she isn't the first gymnast to be stung by a ridiculous rule.

Here's an explanation of the two-per country rule in gymnastics from fulltwist.net:

"the 8 highest scoring gymnasts will proceed through to the event final. Should 3 gymnasts from one country place in the top 8, the lowest scoring of those will not compete as Olympic finals hold a two per country rule."

Wieber had the fourth-highest score in the all-around preliminaries, but because fellow Americans Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman had better scores, she was eliminated.

Despite having a better score than five of the eight gymnasts in the next round, Wieber is out on a technicality.

Essentially, the Americans were penalized have having too strong of a team. That makes no sense, and the rule needs to be changed.

I know the Olympics is supposed to be more about fellowship and competition than it is about winning. If that is the case, why even score the events?

Why not just let the athletes compete for a specified time and hug at the end?

Because winning does matter, and whether we admit it or not, it's paramount.

Winning mattered to Wieber, but because of the rule that is designed to give athletes from around the globe a better chance to shine, she won't be allowed to compete for the all-around title.

There is no way the gymnast with the fourth-highest all-around score shouldn't qualify.

I understand this is an old rule, and I'm not making a stink simply because an American was bitten by it. In any competition, the best should be rewarded no matter their classification.

The athletes from other countries have already had the privilege of competing in the Olympics be surviving trials. Once they are past the qualifying round, it's time to see the best in the event compete for medals.

Because of this rule we will not see that in women's gymnastics, and that is a shame.


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