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Subject:  Gymanstics Controversy Date:  8/23/2004  10:59 AM
Author:  JavaTraveler Number:  460 of 1754

Christine Brennan of the USA Today says Paul Hamm should give up his gold medal out of good sportsmanship.

I have to say I disagree with this call. There is very little perfection in sports. All athletes know this going into their sport. Officials make mistakes. We see that here all the time in our sports. Calls get blown. Officials do not see errors. It happens. The NFL tries to correct this with instant replay, but in a limited fashion. If the Super Bowl was won by a team, and a penalty was not called, the NFL would never overturn the win.

In the All-Around competition the other night, officials made an error. South Korea knows the rules. They had a limited amount of time to register a complaint, but complained after the fact. Now they want their medal.

Paul Hamm competed fairly, and has done nothing wrong. While I understand the point Ms. Brennan is making in her article, he should not give up his medal. He won it as fairly as he knew how. A good gesture would be to award a second gold medal, but I am even wondering about that.

I'm very sorry for the South Korean gymnast. I am sure he is very hurt about what happened. I hope the situation will be resolved shortly. I just don't believe Paul Hamm needs to give up his medal.

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