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Aly Raisman Gets Robbed of the Bronze

Labyrinthine Olympic tiebreaker rules deprive Raisman of third place

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(Aly Raisman, AP)

She vaulted and floor-exercised her way into our hearts. For a moment, she made “Hava Nagila” slightly cool. Sadly, Aly Raisman’s dreams of her own Olympic gold were dashed tonight when she finished tied for a third place with (the unbelievably not-Jewish) Aliya Mustafina of Russia in the women’s all-around individual competition.

By Olympic protocol, Raisman was not granted the bronze medal because she is Jewish did not win out in the series of determining tiebreakers. Both gymnasts were tied with a score of 59.566 points when these nutso rules went into effect:

Should there be ties in the team finals in London, the lowest apparatus score will be dropped and the remaining scores added. If that doesn’t break the tie, additional apparatus scores will be dropped, one at a time, until there is a winner. If no winner emerges, the tie stands.

There is a similar formula for the all-around final. But if no winner has emerged following the dropping of apparatus scores, the execution score total for each gymnast serve as the tie-breaker, followed by his or her total start value. If that doesn’t establish a winner, the tie will stand.

The site SB Nation broke down an explanation of the loss thusly:

So Mustafina’s lowest score (a 13.633 on the balance beam) and Raisman’s lowest score (a 14.200 on the balance beam) were both dropped, and the scores remaining were compared. Mustafina had a 45.933 after the drop, and Raisman had a 45.366; therefore, Mustafina won the tiebreaker.

What seems wrong about this is that Raisman’s lowest score was better than Mustafina’s lowest score. If this is an all-around competition, shouldn’t the standard for winning be consistency? At any rate, Mustafina may have the bronze, but she got straight up crushed by Raisman’s teammate Gabby Douglas who won the gold.

Raisman wins the gold in our hearts.

How Aly Raisman Lost the All-Around Women’s Bronze Medal on a Tiebreaker [SBN]

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Jonathan Kopp says:

Awesome analysis, Adam. But I gotta say, even though you’ve clearly demonstrated that our favorite Jewish gymnast was robbed blind of the bronze, it seems like the culprit was a crooked formula. Where’s the anti-Semitism?

I sincerely doubt that Aly lost because she is Jewish…. Olympic rules are a bit wonky yes, but they were in place before the competition and could have affected anyone. To call this prejudice is quite misguided and inaccurate. Sometimes, things happen. That’s life.

Dude: Take a chill pill. The rules are the rules. Although there are times for the MOT card to be pulled, this is not one of them. Using that angle in this particular instance makes us come off as ignorant and above the rules.

What crap,get over it.

Guys, I think this is intended to be tongue in cheek, not a serious complaint of anti-semitism. At any rate, Adam, it cracked me up!

    FirstStateJew says:

    Glad you took the time for a common sense comment to an interestingly written piece by Adam Chandler…

Maybe you thought Aliya sounded Jewish but Mustafina is pretty much as Muslim as you could get.

There are a lot of people who claim that Aly Raisman lost because of her being Jewish. That’s just about the silliest claim I’ve ever heard because if it was a religious thing as people are suggesting then how come Alia Mustafina from Russia won when she is originally of a Tatar Muslim heritage? The claim just doesn’t make any sense to me. I want people to have some good sportsmanship in this world.

Michael Losoff says:

Seriously? Is Mr. Chandler so desperate to seduce his Jewish readership (a
class to which I belong)–is his faith in his own journalistic ability so
debased–that he chooses to appeal to the meanest level of fear-mongering?
Overtly blaming the heart-breaking situation with Aly Raisman on anti-Semitic
conspiracy? I had hoped, and still hope, that the journalistic standards of
The Tablet rise above the exploitive, tabloid mentality of Fox News and its
fact-free, emotionally manipulative, hate-filled agitprop. Stooping to that low
class of journalism will compel readers with the ability and commitment to think
about the world in an intelligent way to drop The Tablet from their reading

    Michael Losoff says:

    A rejoinder here: As Judy Rosen posted, Mr. Chandler’s intention was indeed to be tongue-in-cheek, as per a correspondence he took the time to have with me privately. Perhaps his intended satire did not come across because the very sentiment Mr. Chandler wished to satirize is too often and too readily expressed by too many Jews, or because the toxic nature of our political discourse these days, prompted by Fox News and aided and abetted by MSNBC, puts us all just a bit on edge. My apologies to Mr. Chandler for mis-reading his piece.

I agree 100% with Danielle Lohan.

Oh, an apparent majority of Tablet commenters have difficulty with reading comprehension? Can’t deduce irony from text? Feel the need to sermonize about the obvious?

Congratulations, Tablet, you’ve made it as a publication!

PS I like how olympic gymnastics tiebreaking rules punish the gymnast with the more balanced repertoire, and reward sloppiness in weak areas.

Let’s see if all the “comon u don rly think it was antisemitism DO U?!Q” folks jump on that one too. “HOW COULD U LIKE SUCH A THING?!!111″‘/

Yeah, I have to agree. If this is “satire,” it’s pretty weak. Leave it to The Onion, guys.


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Aly Raisman Gets Robbed of the Bronze

Labyrinthine Olympic tiebreaker rules deprive Raisman of third place

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