Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Hating on Synchronized Diving

Synchronized swimming with mad hops

I avoid watching Olympic competitions that involve judges. Biased and inept judges and theatrics of the kind we remember from Bela Karolyi and his kissing machine wife make these events into little more than gentrified WWF theatre. Give me Yao and LeBron-keep the tumbling robo-tots from China. Give me the US American freestyle relay team thumping the smack-talking Frenchies-keep Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding.

I began these olympics believing gymnastics was the best embodiment of what was wrong with judge-bias riddled athletic competitions...until I happend upon synchronized diving. This weekend, I watched a feel-good vignette about a teenager who left her family to train non-stop in synchronicity with her partner. She said she really didn't have any friends. She hoped that she might pick up with a real life after her days of competing in front of evil Russian and French judges was over. You should have stuck with straight swimming kid. At least then you could win or lose as judged by the most un-biased evaluator of all-the clock.

Americans Kelci Bryant and Arial Rittenhouse were hungry to earn the USA's first synchronized diving medal since 2000 (I didn't even know it was an Olympic sport before last weekend), but they came up fourth. According to the report on the USA Today Web site:

They needed to beat the Germans' score of 76.50 on the final dive, but their forward 2 1/2 somersault with a twist came up short. The judges awarded them a 72.0 for a total score of 314.40 — 4.59 points behind the Germans.

So they busted their butts to put their fate in the hands of a panel of judges? Was their tuck synch off or were their splashes not symmetrical enough? I wanna know, damnit!!!


Jes Gőlbez said...

1. I can't refer to things like this as 'sport', since the outcomes are purely determined by subjective judging. This is a 'competition'

2. Who in the hell comes up with these things? Diving, I can see, but synchonized diving? Yet, they want to take a REAL sport, softball, out of the games..unreal

you ought to just boycott the mafia Olympics

CasonBlog said...

There are plenty of compelling sports to focus on in the Olympics-stuff that's judge-tyranny free. Problem is you have to go to MSNBC to find it. Mixed doubles badminton at 7am. Wicked cool. Good hearing from you Jes.

katty said...

Diving is the most exciting activity You can feel the immensity of the ocean. It's like traveling to another world. unexplained.This blog is amazing and very interesting.
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