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Should paul hamm return the gold medal?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
What do you guys think?  Since Hamm only won by a judging error (which has been admitted), do you think that he should return the gold medal out of a sense of fair play?  I doubt he will since the comments he has been making is to the effect that "I won fair and square"
post #2 of 25
I have also heard that there were a number of technical mistakes that the judges missed for the South Korean guys, and one of them wouldnt have even been in the top 3 if those were taken into consideration. I think it sucks for him a lot. If he gives it back, he loses all the fame that goes along with it, but if he keeps it, he is known forever as "gold medal asterisk". He got it, but probably shouldnt have.
post #3 of 25
On one hand, he doesn't truly deserve his medal because of the scoring error. But on the other hand, why should he be at the center of the controversy? It's not his fault the judges screwed up and it's not his fault the gymnastics governing bodies/IOC won't take any responsibility for their mistakes and right things. It would be a feel good story and all if he were to offer it to the Korean, but he has no obligation to do so, and nobody should try to claim that he has any. I have a feeling that instead of shaking their fists at the incompetence of the judges, a lot of people would be more inclined to just bash Hamm as an "arrogant American." That said, if I were Hamm I'd call out the authorities publicly and tell them to own up to their screw ups; if that didn't work I'd just offer the guy the gold medal, both out of principle and to look like the good guy in a situation I shouldn't even be involved in.
post #4 of 25
I don't see why it has to be either. How about him and the S. Korean sharing the gold like the Canadians figure skaters got to do last Winter Olympics. I don't think you should go back, and reverse something if its subjective and up to the jugde or referee. But, this wasn't subjective interpretation of the rules. It was more of a calculation error. It would be like getting jobbed for scoring the winning touchdown, but still losing because they didn't add in the extra point kicked in.
post #5 of 25
I think the key fact a lot of people are missing is that the South Korean team either failed to notice or failed to object to the scoring error within the appropriate time. Yes, it was an objective error (to the extent that any gymnastics scoring is "objective"), but there is a procedure for objecting to such errors and the South Koreans failed to follow it. To use another football analogy, if you want to call for a play to be reviewed in the NFL, you have to throw a little flag on the field before the ball is snapped for the next play. The gymnastics situation is like a coach failing to ask for a replay during the game and then complaining the next day that his team should be declared the winner. Tough luck.
post #6 of 25
Initially, I felt he should give the medal back. Despite the "I won fair and square," he did say one really smart reply. He stated that he should not be the one to decide where the medal goes. This statement I agree with 100%, he is the athelete, his job is to perform; he shouldn't have to judge as well. He has every right to keep that medal.
post #7 of 25
I am firmly in the camp that believes that Hamm should keep his gold medal and should not have to share it. This entire controversy is based on the singular misconception that the correct result can be achieved merely by adding .1 to the South Korean gymnast's score.  Judging of gymnastics is done on a relative basis, which is to say that a gymnast's score is determined by comparing his performance with the performances of all the gymnasts who have gone before him.  (That is the reason why all protests of scores must be made immediately.)  Had the South Korean gymnast received the correct (adjusted) score, it is possible, even probable, that Hamm's score on the apparatus at issue would be adjusted upward as well to account for the judges' belief that his performance was superior.  The end result is that Hamm still wins the gold.  Until I hear the argument that the South Korean's performance was superior to Hamm's (and no one to my knowledge has made it), this is much ado about nothing.
post #8 of 25
Quote:
This entire controversy is based on the singular misconception that the correct result can be achieved merely by adding .1 to the South Korean gymnast's score.
Entirely correct. In addition to your point about relative judging, this wasn't the last event. It's impossible to know what the final score would have been if the other gymnast's score were 0.1 points higher in this event. Both he and Hamm may have approached the remaining events differently. You simply cannot know. It's like saying that Team A should be awarded the win against Team B because B won by 4 points and a touchdown was incorrectly disallowed for A in the 3rd quarter.
post #9 of 25
Quote:
I think the key fact a lot of people are missing is that the South Korean team either failed to notice or failed to object to the scoring error within the appropriate time.  Yes, it was an objective error (to the extent that any gymnastics scoring is "objective"), but there is a procedure for objecting to such errors and the South Koreans failed to follow it. To use another football analogy, if you want to call for a play to be reviewed in the NFL, you have to throw a little flag on the field before the ball is snapped for the next play.  The gymnastics situation is like a coach failing to ask for a replay during the game and then complaining the next day that his team should be declared the winner.  Tough luck.
My sentiments exactly.
post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by bryce330:
Quote:
I think the key fact a lot of people are missing is that the South Korean team either failed to notice or failed to object to the scoring error within the appropriate time.  Yes, it was an objective error (to the extent that any gymnastics scoring is "objective"), but there is a procedure for objecting to such errors and the South Koreans failed to follow it.
As for failing to protest during the competition, if you have been watching it, the South Koreans DID protest but the referee told them to lodge their complaint after the meet.  An error on his part, thus causing this mess. Originally posted by alaaro:
Quote:
I have also heard that there were a number of technical mistakes that the judges missed for the South Korean guys, and one of them wouldnt have even been in the top 3 if those were taken into consideration.
Yesterday, the FIG (Gymnastics federation) also came to the conclusion after viewing Hamm's performance that the judges missed critical errors.....  hindsight is 20/20 vision (apologies to George Benson    ) Originally posted by esquire:
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I don't see why it has to be either. How about him and the S. Korean sharing the gold like the Canadians figure skaters got to do last Winter Olympics
The IOC will not issue another gold, and the USOC will not support the South Korean request regarding the second gold. My view on this is a question of Honour: if you are an Olympian and associated with that term is that you represent your sport's ideals and goals, then it is a no brainer - return it. Honour is everything.  In my view, and in seeing his subsequent interviews, Hamm seems to lack this characteristic - he seems almost petulent.
post #11 of 25
I don't understand why there's so much trouble in these subjective events - the 2002 Winter Olympics duet figure skating fiasco, and now whis? There's actually speculation about fixing scores.
post #12 of 25
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I don't understand why there's so much trouble in these subjective events - the 2002 Winter Olympics duet figure skating fiasco, and now whis?
In the 2002 games the French judge was actually found to be accepting money for fixing the scores. In the controversy now it seems to just be too many people who were confused and who now want to find a quick fix to put the whole situatuation in the closet without looking like an asshole themselves. That being said, the letter the FIG tried to send to Paul Hamm was, in my opinion, in poor taste. They used statements to the effect of "Its now clear that [the South Korean] was supposed to be the gold medal winner... In would be in good sport to give the medal to the rightful winner" (not an exact quote). But, as stated by jcusey, the event that caused the mix up wasn't the final event, so to say .1 point there would've made him the winner, without factoring in the final event is like trying to rewrite history. Also, people have gone back and looked at the South Korean's other events and there were errors not counted in them that were more severe, enough that, if they were caught, he would've been out of medal contention completely. They need to stop trying to pawn the decision off on the athlete who had no involvement in the judging and take responsibility for themselves.
post #13 of 25
Quote:
My view on this is a question of Honour: if you are an Olympian and associated with that term is that you represent your sport's ideals and goals, then it is a no brainer - return it. Honour is everything. In my view, and in seeing his subsequent interviews, Hamm seems to lack this characteristic - he seems almost petulent.
This is ridiculous. It is profoundly arrogant and fallacious to think that you can determine what the outcome of the competition would have been had not this error been made. It is profoundly offensive for you to impugn the honor of someone who doesn't share your magical crystal ball.
post #14 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Quote:
(T4phage @ 28 Aug. 2004, 02:54) My view on this is a question of Honour: if you are an Olympian and associated with that term is that you represent your sport's ideals and goals, then it is a no brainer - return it. Honour is everything.  In my view, and in seeing his subsequent interviews, Hamm seems to lack this characteristic - he seems almost petulent.
This is ridiculous. It is profoundly arrogant and fallacious to think that you can determine what the outcome of the competition would have been had not this error been made. It is profoundly offensive for you to impugn the honor of someone who doesn't share your magical crystal ball.
I'm sorry that you feel that way regarding my comment. What I intended to mean is with all that has happened, is it not the honorable thing to do is to return the medal. My own personal sense of honour would impel me to do it (if it was me). I was not "predicting" anything. As for "impuging" Hamm's sense of honor, it is my own personal opinon, but also one that is shared my many others.
post #15 of 25
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I'm sorry that you feel that way regarding my comment. What I intended to mean is with all that has happened, is it not the honorable thing to do is to return the medal. My own personal sense of honour would impel me to do it (if it was me).
Why, and to what purpose? Because the other gymnast deserved it more because he would have won had not the mistake been made? You can't know that because it's completely unknowable given the circumstances. Because of shame at being the winner of an imperfect competition? That's every competition with a subjective element to it. Hamm has done nothing wrong and nothing dishonorable.
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I was not "predicting" anything. As for "impuging" Hamm's sense of honor, it is my own personal opinon, but also one that is shared my many others.
Yes, you are. You're not arguing that the competition was so flawed as to render it meaningless. If you were, then you would want all the medalists to return their medals, not just Hamm. You're arguing that because of the mistake, the South Korean gymnast deserves the gold medal, not Hamm. The only way that that position makes any sense is if you believe that you can predict how the competition would have progressed had not the mistake been made. I don't really care how many others share your belief about how honor requires Hamm to give back the gold medal. It doesn't make that belief reasonable.
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