Aussie gymnast judge blamed for defeat

Aussie gymnast judge blamed for defeat

There are 56 comments on the The Press On-Line story from Aug 18, 2008, titled Aussie gymnast judge blamed for defeat. In it, The Press On-Line reports that:

JUDGING TWIST: The controversy over the allegedly under-aged Chinese gymnast He Kexin took a new and unexpected twist when she edged out an American competitor Nastia Liukin for the gold medal.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Press On-Line.

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milt smith

Walnut Creek, CA

#1 Aug 18, 2008
I've been watching the Olympics my whole life, my first was 1960. The judging BS is on the verge of taking women's gymnastics down, similar to what nearly happenend to Olympic pairs figure skating. When the credibility goes the support will cease. I will give no more money to support women'w gymnastics and I will encourage Master Card to stop as well
SquirrelFisher
#2 Aug 19, 2008
milt smith wrote:
I've been watching the Olympics my whole life, my first was 1960. The judging BS is on the verge of taking women's gymnastics down, similar to what nearly happenend to Olympic pairs figure skating. When the credibility goes the support will cease. I will give no more money to support women'w gymnastics and I will encourage Master Card to stop as well
Lol, how much money were you sending to women's gymnastics team in the first place? I thought the US team depends mostly on corporate sponsors.

Watching the Olympics your whole life *clearly* make you a superior authority on such matters, well beyond those who compete, organize and judge such events.
bubs

Australia

#3 Aug 20, 2008
People need to stop blaming Helen Colagiuri for this. Her score didn't even count towards the Chinese's girls score.
I'm an ex-gymnast and national level judge and Helen is an excellent and very fair judge. People with no real knowledge of gymnastics judging need to stop making horrible accusations about things they don't really know anything about.
Kaca

Australia

#4 Aug 20, 2008
"bubs" I couldn't agree with you more. I had Helen judge me as a gymnast and then spent 10 years judging alongside her. Not once was she unfair or bias.
Unfortunately any sport that is open for judgement (eg diving, figure skating etc) is subject to corruption. Gymnastics is no exception. It certainly needs to be cleaned up but not by blaming one person......and not Helen Colagiuri.
Mel

Abbotsford, Australia

#5 Aug 20, 2008
bubs and kaca im with you also. How can Nastia's father and coach conjour up such a buzz over her daughter getting second best?(when in fact she was equal first) Just because she missed out on the shiny gold its as if her career (and her fathers)has been ruined. It seems to me, his poor level of sportsmanship raises questions to the public whether he really wants the gold or his daughter. Im sick of people pushing their children this way.
alice

Sutherland, Australia

#6 Aug 21, 2008
bubs, kaca, mel... i agree 110%:)
i think americans just get so damn bored and use irrational childish ways to cover it up n decided to point their finger at helen. unbelievable, i shake my head with pity!
btw i thought it was so hilarious when nastia's dad accused them of `waging a 3 year campaign against her`. that my joke of the day :)
hi there

Sutherland, Australia

#7 Aug 21, 2008
milt smith wrote:
I've been watching the Olympics my whole life, my first was 1960. The judging BS is on the verge of taking women's gymnastics down, similar to what nearly happenend to Olympic pairs figure skating. When the credibility goes the support will cease. I will give no more money to support women'w gymnastics and I will encourage Master Card to stop as well
oh no, the world will collapse without your support.
and since you're so experienced with life considering you've watched so many olympics, would you say the score would be consented by all the judges before they reach a final decision? i say yes. so is it unfair afterall? i say no.
kjsfdbviksv

Cambridge, MA

#8 Aug 21, 2008
Of course your Australian judged was never unfair to you- Australian gymnasts. Think about it...
Steve

Ladera Ranch, CA

#9 Aug 21, 2008
Your Australian judge, good ol' girl Helen, must have been smoking her breakfast when she judged that Uneven Bars final. No way did anybody beat Nastia on the bars and Alicia was totally screwed off the podium by a girl that FELL TO HER KNEES! I don't care what start value she had, you can't land on your face and win a medal. Unless the judge is incompetent.
JET

Naples, FL

#10 Aug 21, 2008
It is CLEAR to anyone (not from Australia) that the Aussie judge's scoring is precisely what contributed to Nastia not getting gold. For those that criticize Valeri (her dad) for being upset, I put this question to you: How would YOU feel if you worked and sacrificed for 3 years only to have the gold medal (a medal you TIED for, no less) taken from you due to the incompetence of a judge? I presume you would come to the defense of your child as well. And don't come to me with your reasoning that she isn't incompetent... How else do you explain that her score was lower than all the others? As if. Steve, you hit it on the nose... NO ONE who has ever fallen to their knees has medaled... In fact, there were several gymnasts (both men and women) in Beijing who botched landings and fell on their knees... WHen they did, the first thing the commentators mentioned was that there would be no medal for them, and lo and behold, they DID NOT medal, and had significantly lower scores than Kexin came up with for her fall. Maybe she just fell extra gracefully. What do I know. Investigations are called for. Not to mention the age issues... I'm glad to hear that the IOC has finally caved to the pressure and is investigating the age discrepancies. It should never have taken this long. It was obvious to anyone who didn't turn a blind eye (FIG, IOC) that the girl is NOT 16. There is even written proof of it in the Chinese government's own publications. But I digress.
Luka

San Diego, CA

#11 Aug 21, 2008
But you know, when people lost they would try to come up a bunch of excuses and BS. That's human nature, for Americans it is at least. Chuckles.
Yank Down Under

Docklands, Australia

#12 Aug 21, 2008
As an American living down Under, I am shocked at the blatant anti-American media coverage and negative tone written and covered by every Australian media source one can consume here. The Aussies are pretty two faced... they speak of a fair go and mateship, but apparently that stopped with their grandparents. Todays Aussies are NOT friends of Americans, are needlessly rude, hyper-competitive and their coverage of the Olympics is SHOCKING. It lacks the human interest stories from olympians the world over, as we see in most other first world countries... instead they only celebrate their own victories (which are on the decline) and skip most coverage of events they are not strong in. They even show an Adjusted medal count on their sunrise program, that factors out the US so they can be on top. PAthetic for a country that used to be proud to punch above their weight, now they need to adjust? Its deplorable. Yanks wake up, these people are not the great mates they pretend to be. I love the country their parents and grandparents built, but 8 of 10 modern-day Aussies are bloody wankers. Massive case of sour grapes. Any examination of the facts points to helen showing bias, which is no the Olympic spirit. Any you Aussies have all but forgotten about Grant Hackett, after counting on the gold from him. Shame on you, he deserves better treatment, and is a great sporting example for you all.
dfgpoihr

Sutherland, Australia

#13 Aug 21, 2008
-what is `a fair go` to do with anything?
-how can you say we're rude when you've called us bloody wankers?
-who are you calling two-faced?
-talking about `negative tone`, wasn't it an american who wrote this article targetting helen and accusing the integrity of this sport?
-and what's sour grapes to do with this when its america against china?
-have you thought maybe all judges need to consent before reaching a final decision instead of just helen herself?
-how is our coverage of the olympics shocking when it is the american's whining and using vulgar language to attack helen that we keep hearing and seeing?
-how can you make the assumption that aussies are no friends of americans from this one thread?
-can you name an example of when we only celebrate our own victories without consideration of our weaknesses?
-your comment implies we only seek the flaws in others, but what about you?
-we never counted on hackett for gold, our perception of him does not depend on his achievements. we are happy for him either way.

again, a perfect exemplary of attacking australians with purpose but without evidence.
Yank Down Under

Docklands, Australia

#14 Aug 21, 2008
Thanks for the response, albeit in the form of questions. I'll answer first....
-what is `a fair go` to do with anything?
an examination of facts shows Helen twice scored Nastia Liukin well below her peers in multiple comeptitions. There is suspect history here. The age of China athletes are not ironically being investigated by the IOC. Aussies can be preachy about the right to a fair go, there is no consistency with that when it comes to the way Helen judged this event, it seems. There is an apparent bias, and anyone who saw her television interview would have a hard time defending her tone as neutral. Adjusting USA out of medal counts on news programs, skipping coverage of some of the most watched events where Aussies do not participate, and excluding USA is another example. Interested in what you make of all this. My Aussie wife and Aussie friends and a few bold souls see this and find it dissapointing, calling it chaging values of a more selfish egotitstic generation. What do you have to say? Is this un-Australian, or is this the behavior you are proud of?
-how can you say we're rude when you've called us bloody wankers?
Comments before mine called Americans irrational, childish, unfair, poor sports, biased and bored. You yourself call Americans whiners. I am perpetually bombarded with rude statements from Australians on their negative perceptions about Americans, typically when a hello or nice to meet you is more properly used. My American accent alone draws nasty comments, threatening behaviour and argumentative discourse nearly everywhere I go in Melbourne, arguably Australia's most diverse, multi-cutural city. My comments specifically mentioned 8 of 10 of you, not all of you, and I stand by that. Americans in Australia are not well recieved, despite being traditional allies with similar histories and arguably identical values. One difference is that many of our relatives have fought and died to defend Australia and other nations freedom from japanese invasion, and my relatives would be horrified to see their old digger mates stopped teaching their children about friendship and polite behavior. If you cant see this, have a look form a different perspective, you wont be proud. Aussie import a lot more American culture than Americans do from Australia, but you'll never travel to the US and have anyone treat you rudely for no other reason than your nationality. The self-congratulatory comemntary throughout the olypic coverage I have watched from Australia is not something I have seen in any of the 6 first-world countries I have lived in, and borders on masturbation. hence, wankers.
Yank Down Under

Docklands, Australia

#15 Aug 21, 2008
-who are you calling two-faced?
The people of a country who claim to be America's great mates, yet trash talk us when you think nobody is looking. Have you not observed this? please comment... is this behaviour you are proud of? Would the diggers of old had wanted their country to behave in this way?
-talking about `negative tone`, wasn't it an american who wrote this article targetting helen and accusing the integrity of this sport?
Actually, it does not specify. it is somone who lives in Walnut Creek, but probably is.
it cites an issue of bas widely covered in the media. Have you seen any judging bias raised about other countries in these olympics? Are you proud of this, do you think it worthy of beign looked into? Or is it just that she is Australian, so she is correct. Curious to hear your response.
-and what's sour grapes to do with this when its america against china?
Good question for Australians to answer, they seem to barrack for anyone versus the USA, judging by the commentary and genral negativity in press and media coverage.
-have you thought maybe all judges need to consent before reaching a final decision instead of just helen herself?
Yes, thats certainly part of the issue, and speaks to its legitamcy. Her scoring is far different than her peers.
-how is our coverage of the olympics shocking when it is the american's whining and using vulgar language to attack helen that we keep hearing and seeing?
In most parts of the developed world, networks cover the human interest stories and the most popular competitns, as well as some lesser known. They celebrate the wins fo the entire world, and broaden the cultural understanding of others. Whether this includes the poor Bolivian who sold alpacas to buy a ticket to compete, or the charsimatic italian ladies man who conquered the foregin press, the diversity typically extends beyond the limited self-focused coverage on display on 7. Would have expected more. Please comment on this, The saavy aussies I know see this clearly and find it appaling. Dont you?
-how can you make the assumption that aussies are no friends of americans from this one thread?
I havent said that. This is not an assumption... I live here and work with Aussies and can say this as a fact, relative to about 8 out of 10 of you. Would you not agree?
-can you name an example of when we only celebrate our own victories without consideration of our weaknesses?
Certainly. Sally McLellan winning a medal due to an American runners hurdle fault. The coverage showed her and the canadian mdeal winner, silver and bronze celebrating. They didnt sho the results. Wasnt till she was on the dais that we saw that America won gold. We laughed at the deplorable coverage. Another example is the refusal of sevven to show the final events medal ceremony, mens relay where the USA won Gold (Phelps 8th) and took the dais. Instead, they cut to volleyball. Possibly the most historic moment in Olympic history, excluded perhaps becuse Asutralia doesnt liek seeing USA swimming dominance. You tell me, why exclude this?
-your comment implies we only seek the flaws in others, but what about you?
Thats what I have perceived. Americans love aussies and consider you great mates. They dont have much access to your media, unlike Australia has of the US, and most would probably be shocked and saddened by the way we are portrayed here. I certainly am.
-we never counted on hackett for gold, our perception of him does not depend on his achievements. we are happy for him either way.
The drop of coverage and treatment by the media suggest otehrwise. Did you see Michael Phelps interview by Annna Coren, telling her how much he admired Haackett. Thats sportsmanship.
again, a perfect exemplary of attacking australians with purpose but without evidence.
I think i have responded. Your turn.
Honor

Louisville, KY

#16 Aug 21, 2008
Jesus people, I am just simply proud of my American Gymnasts Team, I'm proud to be from the same country as these brilliant athletes, I think they are all amazing, gold, silver, bronze, or not...win or lose. I know that my country has great gymnasts, great athletes, I understand everyone's dissapointment, we always want the gold, but we can't always get it. The only way to truly win is to win by leaving no doubt as to who is the best, the winner, the ultimate, the winning performance has to be so much better, so much more amazing than any other competitors, that no one can dispute it. It wasn't us, it wasn't Nastia, it was even He either, too many questions have been raised, just let the medalists recieve their medals with honor. Win gracefully, lose gracefully. It's not the end of the world, it'll be more competitive in four years. America will come back then with a stronger thirst for gold in four years. Congrats to all the gymnasts, Congrats to China, may the best athlete win next time as well, see you all again in four years.
Jamie

Allambie Heights, Australia

#17 Aug 22, 2008
If that Chinese gymnast was so bad then how did she score the same as Nastia? There are other judges afterall - the others must also have scored her fairly highly as well (the Australian judges score is not THAT influential). The Australian judge did NOT score her the lowest (the lowest score isn't counted), so her score was not an outlier.

What I am finding funny about your post is how quickly you changed the subject. First you complain about the Australian judge and then you say that you are glad of the IOC's decision. But funny enough the IOC's decision has nothing to do with the Australian judge, it has something to do with the Chinese Gymnasts Age. A completely different topic. That makes you just sound like a wingy idiot who is looking for any excuse for Nastia to get gold.
JET wrote:
It is CLEAR to anyone (not from Australia) that the Aussie judge's scoring is precisely what contributed to Nastia not getting gold. For those that criticize Valeri (her dad) for being upset, I put this question to you: How would YOU feel if you worked and sacrificed for 3 years only to have the gold medal (a medal you TIED for, no less) taken from you due to the incompetence of a judge? I presume you would come to the defense of your child as well. And don't come to me with your reasoning that she isn't incompetent... How else do you explain that her score was lower than all the others? As if. Steve, you hit it on the nose... NO ONE who has ever fallen to their knees has medaled... In fact, there were several gymnasts (both men and women) in Beijing who botched landings and fell on their knees... WHen they did, the first thing the commentators mentioned was that there would be no medal for them, and lo and behold, they DID NOT medal, and had significantly lower scores than Kexin came up with for her fall. Maybe she just fell extra gracefully. What do I know. Investigations are called for. Not to mention the age issues... I'm glad to hear that the IOC has finally caved to the pressure and is investigating the age discrepancies. It should never have taken this long. It was obvious to anyone who didn't turn a blind eye (FIG, IOC) that the girl is NOT 16. There is even written proof of it in the Chinese government's own publications. But I digress.
Jamie

Allambie Heights, Australia

#18 Aug 22, 2008
Yank down under:

-Australian's don't claim to be America's great mates. So your speaking crap. In fact, the idea that you think Austalian's (or people from any country) sees themselves as America's mate suggests that you have probably been living under a rock for the past 10 years, where, in the mean time, the world has lost quite a lot of respect for America.
-Anyone can make accusations - so no, I don't think much of it. There is no investigation because there is nothing to investigate - just baseless accusations. Other than that, you make no sense with the next point. I recommend you re-read the quote as a response to your reply.
-Yes to be honest we do tend to back the other country if it's USA vs XXXX. But no, that would not mean that if in a judge capacity we would not be objective.
-You want judges to consent before scoring? that has to be the dumbest thing i've heard. They already take measures to cut out outliers (the lowest and highest score isn't counted). and WRONG, if her score was so much different it wouldn't be counted. It's not brain science.
-I'm almost certain that each countries network is biased to cover their own athletes first. If you have watched 7, you would also have noticed that other countries have been covered (esp. this week, in athletics). In fact, it only seems to be America that goes to the length of going by MEDAL TOTAL and not by order of number of (much rarer) gold medals. clearly that mentality is just going to favour the bigger countries just by the sheer number of athletes they send.
-funny, I watched Phelps win his 8th gold and they (rightfully) covered it in detail (saying that they quickly cut to something else is just BS, and makes you further look like a clown).
-I wish America had more access to other countries media because then there would be the realisation that there is a long way to go before the world respects you again.
-Firstly, your the fool for watching today/tonight in the first place. Today/tonight is like America's Fox 'news - they have no cedibility whatsoever. So most intelligent people would be wary about watching it to be informed (it is largely watched for sheer entertainment, actually). I can't think of any Australian Athlete that has been nasty to an American athlete. I CAN however think of an instant where an American was nasty to an Australian athlete (that idiot who said he would smash Ian Thorpe like a guitar - luckily he ate his words).
dfgpoihr

Sutherland, Australia

#19 Aug 22, 2008
hullo `yank down under`.

"an examination of facts shows Helen twice scored Nastia Liukin well below her peers in multiple comeptitions."
both kexin and nastia did exceptionally well and i don't think every human is conditioned to have the same opinions of them or judge/ focus on the exact same aspects. i have been to countless piano exams and have received a range of marks contributed to the fact that examiners can have extremely different styles and tastes. helen may not have liked nastia's as much as kexin's.

"Adjusting USA out of medal counts on news programs, skipping coverage of some of the most watched events where Aussies do not participate, and excluding USA is another example."
is this so? personally i did not see this but then every nation puts itself first as selfish as that sounds. what about the US, did they do the same? media is known to not present the full picture and focus on appealing to the general public. i don't view this as australians being unfair or discriminating... its a part of the media's nature. do you remember studying module a of english hsc `telling the truth`? that may help ;)

"Comments before mine called Americans irrational, childish, unfair... multi-cutural city."
you do realise you are of much older age (considering you have a wife) and you're debating with youngsters who do not consider much about grammar or speaking with integrity. either they release bitterness by posting hatemails, or they are people like us who like to present views and see what others make of it. and fancy this, i'm a highschooler debating with a married man!
anyway, the term `americans` should refer to the few who blasted off in front of cameras, not the entire nation. this should be specified, plus as everyone knows, one cannot generalise. about what you've faced in melbourne, well i'm an australian citizen of asian background and i rarely see this in sydney. in fact i think the majority are lovely people and everyone mingles extremely well here. i'm sorry to hear the discrimination you've faced and i sincerely hope this injustice will stop. personally i agree with you in that i do think older generations are much more polite and `civilised` than younger generations. but then who is exempted from this? its not just for australians, and i've seen much more polite australian children than impolite ones. as i said before, many of those who post hatemails are the worst of the kind whom you've based your judgment on.

oh i still don't get what wanking/ masturbation has anything to do with it?
dfgpoihr

Sutherland, Australia

#20 Aug 22, 2008
"The people of a country who claim to be America's great mates, yet trash talk us when you think nobody is looking."
it never happened that the whole australian nation chorussed `americans are friends`, though americans and australians should be mates. those who trashtalk are either bored and bitter, or those who want to express disgust. how about what the americans called helen as shown on `today tonight`? how can you compare this `trashtalk` to that vulgar language? though i'm not encouraging an eye for an eye.

"Actually, it does not specify... she is correct."
articles do not specify `i am being negative`, readers make out of it by reading inferences.
and the others, i've answered in the first response about different styles.

"In most parts of the developed world...I know see this clearly and find it appaling. Dont you?"
personally, i do not see this. you cannot make the assumption that australians are self focussed from your one exemplary. but then i've answered this as well in the first response about the media.

"Certainly. Sally McLellan winning a medal...why exclude this?
it wasn't just channel 7 with all the olympic coverage. did you flip between channels? sally mclellan had a hilarious reaction, something you don't usually see, so it was worth it.

"Thats what I have perceived. Americans love aussies and consider you great mates....saddened by the way we are portrayed here. I certainly am."
the hatemail i have seen to australians do not convey the notion americans love aussies. there even seems to be some tension between the sportsmen. cultural differences trigger disagreements and that's inevitable but its important that both nations learn to accept one another. actually, you know this is quite a trivial thing compared to what's happening in the world.

"Did you see Michael Phelps interview by Annna Coren, telling her how much he admired Haackett."
well that's nice, its not like he would say `i don't admire any aus swimmer` when asked about it. you know we do admire phelps for his determination and comebacks. he is legendary to break through his difficult childhood and achieve so much in life. by the way, sportsmanship does not solely base on what one says of another. actions speak louder than words.

ok i've spent a while on this. that's how bored i am!=]

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