“Coming up next …Were the XXI Winter Olympics Judged Fairly?” #270, March 1, 2010

After Further Review … M. Scott Peck, in his book The Road Less Traveled, wrote “Life is difficult.”  This phrase is often reworded to say “Life is not fair.”  After watching the XXI Winter Olympic games for 14 days, many have come to the conclusion (good, bad, right, wrong) that those games were not fairly administered.  This is not a harangue on the individuals who judged or administered the running of the games – I’m sure they did their job to the best of their ability.  However, let’s examine a couple of events.


Not knowing that Lindsey Vonn of Team USA crashed into the fence in her first run in the Women’s Giant Slalom, the judges — facing weather that was deteriorating rapidly, had decided to shorten the interval time between skiers — sent teammate Julie Mancuso onto the track.  With Vonn laying at the fence-line near gate 11, Mancuso was making good time when the judges “yellow flagged” her, thereby stopping her run.  Was that “call” made too quickly? Could Mancuso have safely completed her run?


The judges then required Mancuso to return to the start and do a ‘re-run;’ which was then cancelled as the judges shut down the Giant Slalom course and postponed that event for the next day due to foul weather.  What was fair? All athletes want is to compete on a “level playing field.” 


The Women’s Short Track event is about as wacky as it gets in Olympic events. The short track is a 4-woman, 3,000 meter relay where each skater alternately skates in and out of the race.  During that Short Track event with the South Korean T.E.A.M. leading, there was “bumping” by a Korean skater into a Chinese skater.  It did not appear to be intentional; no skater went “down” and the South Korean T.E.A.M. narrowly won over the Chinese T.E.A.M.  The judges then went to the “replay booth,” and “after further review,” disqualified the South Korean T.E.A.M., which gave China the Gold, Canada the Silver, and get this, T.E.A.M. USA the bronze.  T.E.A.M. USA was about a half-lap back at the conclusion of the race.


Why not award China the Gold, South Korea the Silver and Canada the Bronze?  And if that same “bumping” had occurred in the first lap of the race, would the judgment have been the same?


How will you deal with circumstances in life you consider “not fair?”

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