An Olympic Tournament Without Olympic Standards
Shin A Lam of South Korea was cheated out of her shot at a gold medal in the individual epee competition when the clock got stuck and gave her opponent an extra second for a final touch. After spending ages conferring, the committee decided to award her opponent the match.
In sports, a fencer’s blade is considered second fastest only to a marksman’s bullet. Fencing is about agility, grace, and speed. Naturally the athletes would expect their judges to be keeping time responsibly and properly.
Imagine this: you spend years training and perfecting your skill so that you can be in prime shape for the Olympics, the ultimate chance for glory at your sport. Then, that moment is snatched away from you because the clock got stuck and because a 15-year old timekeeper didn’t set the time properly! I would be devastated!
Shin A Lam stayed on the piste (to show that she didn’t accept the ruling) but she was eventually escorted away by security (while the crowd gave her a standing ovation).
Afterward, she had to return for a chance at the bronze medal but she lost, probably because she was rattled by the earlier outrage. So imagine that, you are competing for the gold and suddenly, you have no medal at all.
She was offered a medal for “good sportsmanship” but naturally she turned it down.
And the final obscenity, as quoted from the Daily Telegraph:
The crowd was then incredulous when just before 7.40pm - nearly an hour after the incident - that an announcer claimed that in the rules the Koreans had to lodge money for the appeal to be valid.
What is this, some sort of financial scam?