Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Olympics get shady

Ramblings Post #195
Sometimes you just have to find something a little off the beaten path to write about, so you can get your mind back to flowing the way it should. I've had a few things mulling over in my mind the past few days, and this is the first one that popped out. Well, the first one that popped out that looked finished. Well, the first one that looked forget it.

I don't really watch the Olympics. Not even the women's volleyball competition. Yes, I'm still salty about that Big Mac from twenty five years ago, and although I bear the games no ill just doesn't dazzle me. The last time I got excited about was when the games were in Atlanta, and I could have (but didn't) ridden down and seen the world. And the opening ceremonies in Bejing were nice. But I really don't get into the sports like that...too many, too fast, where I end up cheering for reasons I'm not sure. Do I yell to sweep faster in the curling competition, or to use longer strokes. In the boxing the guy who got the knock down lost...on points. I get confused easily.

But what happened to Shin was troubling. 

In the NFL, they have fifteen angles of instant replay and will overturn a heinously bad call. In the NBA they will wave off a shot after the buzzer if the tape is clear. In the NHL, they can give you three angles of the puck in crease. In tennis, they will go to the cameras with frickin' lasers if there is a serious question of on the line or not.  So here at the Olympics, you figure they at least will have replay. Or least VHS. Super 8 maybe? So on the world stage, possibly the biggest fencing stage it will see for the next four years, what happened should not have happened.

If you're unfamiliar with what occurred, Shin A Lam (South Korea) fought Bitta Heidemann (Germany) into what is in fencing, overtime.  Whoever won would proceed to the gold medal match.  In "sudden death" with one second left and the pair still locked in steely duel, the match paused.  When the judge called "engarde" to commence the action, Heidemann dipped inside, lunged and scored a touch...only the clock hadn't moved. Looking at the replay, that she had scored the touch in one second was highly doubtful. 

The South Korean coach immediately went to the judges. And apparently instead of going to the booth..or even looking at the film...they declared Heidemann the winner. The dubious nature of the touch, considering the gold medal is at stake should have given weight to the idea of a clear and undisputed winner.

Shin Lam, defiant.

Upset, with cause in my opinion, Lam refused to leave the platform. In fencing, leaving the platform is an acceptance of the judges ruling. She waited for more than 45 minutes, until her coach's further appeal was denied...and stayed defiant until security had to escort her out. I understand how the ruling on the floor was made, but how the appeal was denied I am baffled. An athlete trains for years for a moment in the sun...only to be denied because someone does not want to admit they made an error? One we could all see on the replay? For shame Olympic judges.

And they hold out on Big Mac's too. Oh, wait, that's just an Olympic sponsor.

Barkeep....something ruddy. I'm not sure what it means either, ruddy.

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