Sports that determine an outcome based on finishing order could claim to be a purer form of competition than those where subjective judging decisions are concerned, it could safely be argued.
It would be purely ludicrous should the winner of a race of any kind be lowered down the finishing order because another runner was more stylish.
Yet, for Aussie winter sports athlete and 2014 Sochi Winter Games silver medalist David Morris of Australia, the decision of the judges was what cost him a spot in the finals of the men’s aerials.
Morris put down a great run and stuck his landing, yet he was denied a chance at Olympic glory when the panel of judges moved Jian Zongyang of China ahead of Morris, despite the fact that the Chinese skier went down hard on the landing of his final jump.
Commentator Lydia Lassila, an Australian with Olympic gold glory, had the following comments on Channel Seven.
“I’m in disbelief. It’s really unfortunate. Jia fell over after an uncontrolled landing. Rules are you need to ski in a controlled position. He was not in control on that landing. He fell over. So (a score of) 118 for that, I’m in disbelief.”
Morris was positively sanguine over the judges’ decision, although he had every right to be livid.
“I think a couple of us are confused about that,” Morris said.“My coach went and asked the judges they gave him four metre of controlled skiing which is what counts for a landing.You can watch replays and slow mo and argue as much as you want. They gave him a four metre stance where he had control. I can’t argue it. Tough luck for me. That’s how these sports go.”
Yes, that is how these sports go and it only serves to show that competitions such as ice skating, all the skiing disciplines that involve the awarding of style points based on the subjectivity of a panel of judges should either be brought into the realm of objectivity, for example, the ski jumper who goes the furthest wins, or sent to the dust bin.