US gymnastics champion Gabby Douglas is hogging the limelight following her stellar performance in the all around gymnastics. For the first time, an African American has been able to go to this level and win an Olympic gold medal.
But a player who is equally gifted and has proved it time and again was left behind, not by her mistake but by the sheer dint of luck. Aly Raisman was among the best performers during the initial stages in London Olympics and had performed better than Gabby Douglas too during the semis. In the team event too she had performed exceedingly well and didn’t give an opportunity to her opponents from Russian team to make a comeback and clinch gold.
With Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman and Jordyn Wieber’s great performance United States’ young women gymnastics team did that no other US team was able t do in the last 16 years of Olympics. She continued similar performance in her individual all around event where she tied for the third spot. People are wondering why she was not given the bronze. Her bronze would have given the US two medals in the same event.
Meanwhile Aly Raisman fans not just in the US, but elsewhere too are disappointed. A reader says, “Each time they hold an olympiad, weird scoring issues come up. It’s just that the whole thing is political to a very great extent. Much of it survives from the Cold War era. It just never went away. It is so entrenched that no one can really do anything about it. Most of the time, the instances of glaring unfairness (or perception of such) affects Americans. You just don’t hear other countries complaining. Some of this worry is self-inflicted, because the U.S. goes so far out of its way to hype its athletes”.
Another reader says that injustice was done to Raisman and her loss should have been challenged. “The tiebreaking rules in this case are beyond ridiculous. They drop the lowest score for each athlete, then add the remaining scores together; highest total wins. Unfortunately, this rewards excellence on INDIVIDUAL events rather than the all-around. Aly Raisman scored higher than Mustafina on every event other than bars, and ALy didn’t fall off the beam like Mustafina did. Mustafina’s excellent [and overscored] bars score allowed her to surge past Raisman to take the bronze, despite her lower total on the other three apparatus…It would make MUCH more sense to drop the HIGHEST score for each gymnast involved in a tie in the all-around competition, because this would reward consistency on multiple apparatus, which is the entire point of the all-around competition. Or just award two bronze medals; reportedly, they’re inexpensive, and gymnasts tend to have rather short-lived careers, due to the physical toll the sport takes on their bodies” says another reader.
But the athlete herself didn’t wept or cried after being denied the medal. “I know I can definitely do a better beam routine than I did today…I tried to come out and do the best I can…Being fourth in the world is definitely something to be proud…I’m trying to be positive about it” she said after the all-around finals