"Gymnastic Giggle?" "Beijing Blowup?" "Chinese Cheating?" Whatever you want to call it, Thursday night's thrilling conclusion to the women's all-around gymnastics finals was an eye-opener for many Olympics fans. Just not all for the right reasons.
The finale had something missing from the expected glorious finish. Though US gymnasts Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson finished 1-2 for USA, the fact remains the night seemed to have been tainted with wrongdoing.
After Liukin and Johnson performed nearly perfect vaults in the opening event, for which many felt both should've received better scores, China's Jiang Yuyuan fell on the opening vault, and yet ended up in sixth place, ahead of a very graceful and deserving Anna Pavlova, who did not make any vital errors Yuyuan did.
So I raise the question: Does the International Olympic Committee need to be reviewed for possible tampering/cheating charges?
I don't know if I personally would go as far as to say that the IOC purposely gave certain scores to certain competitors to make the competition as exciting as possible. However, the possibility of tampering or illegally paying off judges is something that may shoot into a US or Russian Federations fan's mind.
Liukin's vault was a stellar as one gets. However, her score was not, only gaining a 15.025 which should've been at the least one point higher at 15.125. Johnson's wasn't as clean, yet should've gained closer to a 16.000 than she did. But, with a nasty spill, the Chinese competitor scored a 14.825, which was considerably high compared to Liukin's clean landing.
In the uneven bars, Liukin's specialty, Liukin did all she could with the best routine in the world, and scored lower than Yang Yilin did, with a 16.725. Johnson, by the way, put up a flawless routine on the same event, and garnered a 15.275 scoring, even taking the difficulty factor into account.
By the time the third event was completed, fans must've known something was up when Liukin and Johnson dominated, and yet they both still trailed Yilin from China going into the final event. Even NBC's Bela Karolyi believed that the judges were cheating the outside competition.
Add this to the drama that allowed Team USA to pull out the gold in this field, the underage allegations of Team China, and the racism of the Spain Olympic Basketball team, and you have all the makings for a controversial Olympics. Oh, and Serbia has a beef with Michael Phelps' seventh gold metal win by 0.01 seconds over their own Milorad Cavic.
I say take it up with the IOC. They'll know what to do.
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