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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.

17?!

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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