Following a Paul Hamm’s dramatic recovery from a mistake during the overall gymnastics competition at the Olympics, we all learned of a scoring error that would have meant only second place for him, giving the bronze medalist the gold.
Naturally, it’s a sad turn of events for the South Korean, but the Federation of International Gymnasts (FIG) has refused to step up to the plate to rectify their mistake. Instead of giving Yang Tae-young another gold or telling the world that they made a mistake and that it is final, they are calling upon Paul Hamm to turn his medal in and “do the right thing.” Suddenly, the competitor who has no hand in the scoring, is being asked to rectify the situation? He is being called upon to fix things. It’s absurd!
I wish I could be like that. What if criminals did this? George steals Frank’s car and sell it to Peter. George gets caught and instead of setting things right, says “All sales are final. Peter, do the right thing and give Frank his car back.” It doesn’t work like that.
Further, it’s not like it’s a huge deal if FIG gave out another gold medal in this isolated case. If they are afraid of setting precedent that might result in this happening frequently, then they need to revisit their judges and their apparent lack of judging ability. It’s like the use of the red flag in football. It should be unlimited use as long as you are right. It’s use is limited to twice because of a misplaced fear that it might slow down the game. That is only a concern if the officiating is so awful that they continue to screw up. In that case, the NFL would have much larger problems than the game getting delayed. The same goes for FIG.
Should the IOC give out another gold medal? I don’t know. Should Paul Hamm give his back? Hell no.