The 2008 China Olympic Games were ruined by the judges. Their decisions are supposedly based on some objective criteria, but if that were really true they would all come up with the same number for any given performance which they are judging. If you had a carpenter telling his helper to saw a board to 9.5 feet long and he gives you one sawn to 10 feet or 8 feet you would be rather shocked. But this happens all the time with the ratings given by the Olympic judges, and one must assume that they are rating something else besides objective performance.
The women’s gymnastics events were the most reported here in the United States, because of the stunningly poor dismount from the vault by the gold medal winning Chinese gymnast, and the spectacularly good one by the Silver medal winning American one. All of the rest of both of their routines was excellent, and so this particularly flagrant error was very apparent, and the cheatingly poor performance by the judges became self evident.
So far as can be observed by someone actually watching the Olympic boxing events it was scored by some crazy blind person apparently hallucinating about his IQ score. Even the announcer, and the audience, and the boxers themselves were in total disagreement with the judges most of the time. One boxer even walked out of the ring after the bout because he didn’t want to stand in the ring and condone the obviously unfair, and stupidly biased score being verified by the judges.
The 4x swim medley was won by the Americans over the French team in what if it had been judged by eye would clearly have gone to the French. However, because there were electronic timers, and video cameras in the water it became clear that the American actually touched the wall 1/100th of a second sooner. He brought his arms forward in his last stroke while the French swimmer was gliding toward the wall for the last meter apparently thinking he had won. This is the way these events should be scored, and to the billionths of a second if necessary. Or call it a tie if it is within some pre-determined closeness such as 2/100th of a second, and give them both Gold Medals.The Gold Medals are not all that expensive because they are like my gold colored Lone Ranger decoder ring of the 1940s which they claimed was dipped in real gold during manufacture, but they neglected to say that none of the gold actually stuck to the ring.
It would be possible to create objective standards for things like diving and gymnastics, and totally eliminate the arbitrary, and easily biased nature of the current judging. One way would be to have each particular trick rated on an agreed upon point scale of difficulty, and then the athlete either does it or doesn’t, and gets all of the points or none. They could be given a specified number of tricks to perform, say ten, each of which had its difficulty rating, and then at the end of the ten performances the total score of completed tricks could easily be compiled. The tricks would be announced before each try, and there would be no need for second tries because they would just be counted as one of their ten attempts. As the contest developed each participant could either do more difficult or easier tricks dependent on how well they were doing relative to the other contestants. At the end of each set as the entire field of contestants completed their tricks, all of the scores would be posted. Then the highest scoring person would go first, and put up their points as they completed their trick which would let each of the lower scoring contestants know how difficult a trick they should attempt to achieve a higher score. This scoring system would offer some opportunities for strategy for the contestants with very similar levels of ability. The patent silliness of rating some complex trick on a few drops of splash on entry would be eliminated.
So many things about the China Olympics were spectacular and everyone is to be commended for their performances. Except for the judges.
After writing this I watched the French boxer get absolutely screwed by the judges with points, and the referee with a fake holding charge. He was so angry that he literally went through all of the grief cycle right on camera in a couple of minutes in a most extraordinarily explosive way. I was actually fearful that he was going to punch the referee—he, the referee, certainly deserved it.
After that post script here is another one in which the athlete did kick the judge in the face. But the reason which precipitated the kick or yesterdays foul play can’t be reviewed by the public because the movies are copyright protected. This is a case where the intent of the copyright is being misused, because the intent of patent, and copyright law is to encourage the creator of new material to display it, and profit from the display of his own creative efforts for the benefit of the public. The real goal is to maximize the benefit to the public not to the creator. In this case holding back something which the public wants to see is a violation of their rights, and the basic and clearly stated intent of the law.