Everyone’s getting screwed at the Olympics
It seems like everybody is getting screwed at the Olympics this year, and I’m not talking in the way Hope Solo so boastfully confessed.
While the games always seem to be surrounded by controversy, this year has been story after story of athletes getting cheated out of a medal, or at least a shot at one. Yes, this means an equal number of people are lucking their way into spots they have no business being in, but I think the sting of wrongful defeat makes for a much more compelling read than the sullied glory of those moving on.
Wieber’s all-around woes
USA gymnast Jordyn Wieber is quickly learning the double-edged sword that comes with being on the American gymnastics team. While she gets to compete as one of the now famous Fab Five team, it also has cost her a ticket to the individual all-around final. Despite having the fourth highest score in preliminaries, only bested by one non-teammate, namely Russia’s Victoria Komova, Wieber will not be advancing to the finals because of a rule that states that only two athletes from each country can qualify. Americans Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas edged out Wieber in the preliminaries of gymnastics most coveted title, so now Wieber will be forced to watch the entire field she beat compete in her place.
Time not on Shin’s side
South Korean fencer Shin A Lam was totally screwed out of a chance at capturing gold when a clock malfunction gave German Britta Heidemann the extra seconds she needed to score a touch and win the match. There was a 20-minute delay before the decision was made to award the match to Heidemann. Shin, broken-hearted and crying, refused to leave the piste because it would signal her acceptance of the decision. Her coach filed for an appeal that was denied and Shin was forced to compete in the midst of her breakdown. Needless to say, she missed medaling.
Cochrane gets bumped
Canadian swimmer Ryan Cochrane won his heat in the 400-meter freestyle with the belief that it landed him a spot in the finals later that night. Five hours later he was informed that he wouldn’t be racing and instead would be settling for a 9th place finish because South Korea’s Park Tae-hwan—the defending gold medalist and world-record holder—had won his appeal of his disqualification for flinching on the start blocks earlier in the day.
Every winner of a gold medal will learn that they have been essentially screwed over when they bite into their medal and the gold coating chips off to reveal what their medal really is—silver. Yes, the so-called gold medals are only 7.5 percent gold, the rest is just a filler of the first loser’s medal. At least they can take comfort in knowing they aren’t sporting the bronze, which is made of melted pennies and broken dreams.