The new gymnastics scoring system may be the reason behind the U.S. gymnasts being robbed of their medals. The new system being used consist of two scores, a start value for difficulty and an execution score, they are then added together for an overall score. So gymnasts that have a higher start value can win a gold medal even if the event isn't executed well.
Which brings us to Alicia Sacramone being robbed of a medal in the women's individual vault. Since Sacramone's vault had a lower start value and wasn't executed perfectly, she hopped on the landing, she received an overall low score resulting in a 4th place finish. However, two of the three women that received medals had major mistakes in their routines, like stepping out of bounds, landing on their knees, and overall poor execution, but because their vaults had higher start values they received higher scores than Sacramone.
Take a look at Alicia's vault compared to the three women that placed and you decide who should have won.
[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p99z4CCkjzQ 350 292]
Hong Un Jong Gold Medal winner
[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRTsP6dVFLM 350 292]
Oksana Chusovitinia Silver Medal winner
[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pNJ_pbCkTM 350 292]
Cheng Fei Bronze Medal winner
Oddly enough I can not find the video of China's best athlete's final vault. However, I did watch the event myself and despite a good first vault, her hands were out of place and she landed on her knees on the second vault and still received a higher score than Sacramone. It is clear that she did not deserve to medal in this event and had the judging been on the perfect 10 scale she wouldn't have. On the perfect 10 scale I think Oksana would have taken first, Sacramone second, and Hong Un Jong third. It is truly a sad day for gymnastics when the scoring system allows you to fall and still come out on top.
Sadly vault isn't the only event where the U.S. was cheated out of a medal. Nastia Liukin and He Kexin received the exact same score on the uneven bars, but It was Kexin that ended up with the gold. Many believe that Liukin had the cleaner routine with less mistakes, but due to the tiebreaker procedure, Kexin came out on top. Liukin, showing good sportsmanship, said that she can't complain about the system because it has been good to her during the 2008 Olympics. Here is a video that explains how the tiebreaker was won.
[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0z4wb42T1KU 350 292]
So what do you think....Is the U.S. being robbed of their medals or are the Americans just mad that they are not the best in every event?
On another note, on the beam the USA respectively won gold and silver. Congratulations USA Women's Gymnastics Team!