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Grade inflation has finally reached the Olympics

Posted at 1:32 PM on August 6, 2008 by Steve Rudolph

Much like how a 4.0 used to be perfection when it came to grade point average, a 10.0 was the ultimate score for a gymnast to achieve.

Do you remember Nadia Comaneci on the uneven bars in the 1976 Olympics or Mary Lou Retton's vault at the Los Angeles game?

I do. They were perfect routines and they received a 10. It was the drama of sports at its best.

Should an athlete in Beijing achieve similar perfection later this month, we as fans might not know. But from what I hear a score of more than 17 is really good.


Much in the way skating has tried to prevent scoring errors and scandals created by its old system, gymnastics has switched to a new method of scoring involving A-panel and B-panel judges and A to F-level skills, which are then divided by the circumference of the moon and multiplied by the square root of pi.

I know I'm not in the sport's key demographic, but I don't like the changes and now I likely won't watch the competition. I'm sure there will be others like me.

Wasn't there a way to keep the scoring system simple and understandable while ensuring fairness?

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