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  • Women's Gymnastics and the Fairness Olympics

    Today, 24 young women will defy gravity on vault, uneven bars, beam, and floor, vying for the gold medal in the women’s all around artistic gymnastics finals.

    But a few of the best gymnasts are missing from the lineup.

    Anastasia Grishina of Russia, Jennifer Pinches of Great Britain, Jinnan Yao of China, and, of course, Jordyn Wieber of the United States will not compete.

    These gymnasts are sidelined because Olympic rules permit only two gymnasts from each country to compete in the finals. Jordyn Wieber was fourth overall, Grishina 12th, and Pinches and Yao at 21st and 22nd. They each have teammates who scored better (even if it’s only two-tenths of a point better). Yet other gymnasts with lower scores will compete in the finals, because their countries lack as many stellar athletes.

    This rule does not enable the best to compete: It simply ensures that more countries are represented.

    But that’s not the point of the Olympics. The Olympic Games are about individual achievement and national triumph. They enable the best athletes to compete against each other. These athletes train for years, endure injuries, and undergo great personal sacrifice for the chance to represent their countries once every four years. Some of the athletes have one chance to compete in the Olympics. Countries present their best athletes and vie for the top medal count.

    The motto of the Olympics is “Faster, higher, stronger.” It’s not “Let’s give every country a chance.”

    Next time, they should. Let the Olympics be meritocratic. And may the best athlete win.

    Posted in Featured, First Principles [slideshow_deploy]

    14 Responses to Women's Gymnastics and the Fairness Olympics

    1. Maynard says:

      Couldn't have said it better. Thanks for this.

    2. Bobbie says:

      Gymnastics is my favorite! Nadia Commenicci (misspell I'm sure and sorry) inspired me! They would play clips of her routines to the Ode of Joy and it would just make me cry! I didn't go anywhere but I taught myself lots of moves, flips and tumbles because I liked the agility and my family couldn't afford the course.

      At first it seemed like a good idea to have everyone involved but my husband caught me and asked me to think about what I just said? Oops. The Olympics are for the greatest talents achieved that builds motivation to get to that qualification and should go to the highest scores…

    3. KRB says:

      Except the rules about how many athletes you can enter in a particular contest are system wide — they vary from sport to sport, but there's always a limit. Not everyone can be in the final. The Olympics is about the best in the world, but it's also about the best from -each country- competing against one another.

      In the case of gymnastics (or swimming, or some other sport the US is good at) this rule happened to mean that some of our athletes who were better than some from other countries (though who were not judged to be better than their countrywomen — the key point) were not allowed into the final. And in the case of sports where the US is not dominant (such as table tennis), it meant we got an entry at the expense of Chinese athlete #3 or someone else. And I'm fine with that, because the point of the Olympics isn't to watch 10 US athletes swim against 10 Australians. It's to watch the very best from the US compete against the very best from Australia, Britain, Uganda, Japan and whereever.

      • Rudy says:

        "…the point of the Olympic isn't…" Says who? Th point of the Olympics has always been the very best individual achievements in each field. National or team accomplishments have always been about having the most of the very best individual achievements. Why is it now suddenly about political correctness and national self-esteem? Do you think those athletes qualified only by "the rules" and NOT by their own competitive performance think they have proven they are the best in the world?

      • Bobbie says:

        sure can be traumatic when scores are less than a point compared to scores with double digits in the final result of the competition. Let athletes challenge themselves to get to the qualification instead of using them for negative attention.

      • FmrUSMCRnTX says:

        Points well made in general, KRB. However, in defending the IOC's (and other sports sanctioning bodies) actions, you're missing the point that Julia made so very well. Which is that the IOC's "moving target rules" DISALLOW the best in some cases. And this is a shame. Wait for their next move(s). In addition, you may not choose to believe it or agree, but what the IOC & other sanctioning bodies do is allow cheating by China, Japan, and/or so-called "3rd world countries". But they SLAP DOWN hard any even minor infraction by the USA, Canada, GB, Russia. They are BIASED, sadly! :(

    4. Lloyd Scallan says:

      When has any Olympic event been fair? From the day of the Cold War and the communist countries sending "professional athletes" to win, not to compete, while the American Olympic Committee ham-strings our Americans athletes with the rules of fairness. When any nation pays their so-called "athletes" to live and train just for gold medals, fairness has nothing to do with winning.

    5. JLK says:

      Another example of political correctness run amok!!

    6. FmrUSMCRnTX says:

      Very well stated, concise narrative, Julia. Thank you. The problem (as most of us know) is that the officials comprising the sanctioning bodies (in this case the IOC) are all in the "New World Order, politically correct" mindset. This is also true of FIFA, the WTA, etc. And one of their primary goals is to appease the so called "third world" which they view as oppressed victims who should be lifted up by these "sports" organizations. This latest rule on gymnastics is simply one example of many demonstrating how these left-wing elites operate. THEY make the rules, change them to suit whichever interest THEY decide is best for THEM, and IGNORE any protest. They CLAIM to be transparent, open, & fair, but that's what LIBERALS and "New World Order" types ALWAYS claim. We know that they don't tell the truth! It's shameful what they do!! :(:(

    7. FmrUSMCRnTX says:

      As an addendum, I would point out that NOBODY is allowed to criticize any of their "judging" or "officiating"! NOBODY, unless it's the sanctioning body itself! I know this from first-hand experience with FIFA during the last Women's Soccer World Cup. I signed up for an account on the FIFA website, which was approved of course. But as time passed, and some bad officiating occurred (not only against the USA but against other national teams as well), I attempted to post comments on the particular mistakes made. NOT ALLOWED!! And when I wrote directly to FIFA questioning them about this disallowance of my posts, guess what? They IGNORED my emails! This is typical of the eliteist mentality of these "governing bodies". This STINKS but it's how it is with these left-wing nuts running the sanctioning bodies! :(

    8. gayle says:

      The motto of the Olympics is “Faster, higher, stronger.” It’s not “Let’s give every country a chance.” Agreed.

      This article made me wonder if there is a shift toward awarding medals for participation (everyone is a winner, right) vs. first, second and third place. After all, we don't want to hurt the feelings of any Olympians, do we?

    9. Debi Weaver says:

      So tired of this agenda in every arena! We watch the Olympics to see the BEST – not every country!! These athletes deserve so much more. Ugh.

    10. Dan Poole says:

      Well said Julia! The problem is, the left HATES a meritocracy. They hate how entrepreneurs like Sam Walton and Steve Jobs earned their way to the top. They preach the discredited mantra of egalitarianism and view human beings as interchangeable subjects. They can't deal with the fact that individuals have differing levels of ability, and that there are superiors and inferiors in all walks of life – sports, business, agriculture, you name it.

    11. Michael says:

      What if they did this with all of the other events? Imagine how boring swimming, diving and running would be without all USA's great swimmers, all China's great divers and all Kenya's great runners.

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