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.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
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:
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!!!