Jordyn Wieber was considered one of the top two American female gymnasts. Possibly the best, possibly the second best, certainly not any less than that. However, a few deductions here, a few deductions there, no major errors and the next thing you know, Jordyn Wieber failed to qualify for the individual all-around in women’s gymnastics.
This is the way it goes in the Olympic format, and its particularly
silly stupid. No more than two gymnasts are allowed from one country’s team when competing in the individual, all-around competition. Yes. The United States women’s team remains the favorite to win gold in the team competition, yet Wieber, who finished 3rd in terms of point totals on the team, and who finished top 4 of all the gymnasts who competed in the preliminary round, will not have a chance to compete as an individual–regardless of the fact that she possesses better preliminary scores than 15-20 of her fellow, international competitors.
This rule is stupid. You wouldn’t and don’t see it in any other sport, yet the IOC governing the rules on the gymnastics meet, feel that the representation of several nations in the individual all-around is more important than the best gymnasts in the world competing against one another to determine who really is the best.
Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. It would be like telling a sprinter, “Sorry, we know you had the 4th fastest preliminary time of the hundreds competing, but two other guys from your country had faster times, so…sorry…you won’t be in the top 8.”
Sure. I get the whole performance over potential thing. And Wieber isn’t complaining, she understands that the opportunity was there. And based on her score, she should be competing with the best in the world. Yet the IOC concerned about “little countries” having an opportunity to medal, and penalizing many of the world’s finest gymnasts. The top 24 in the world who have been chosen by their respective nations through their varied trial processes and selection committees, should compete for gold, silver and bronze.