Gifted, glittering: What's missing?

By Xiang Bin
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, September 1, 2011
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Sporting history is full of great teams and individuals who, for whatever reason, failed to seize glory when it seemed to be theirs for the taking. Let's take a look at 8 of sport's greatest such 'failures'.

1. Alexei Nemov

 Nemov pleaded with his supporters to quiet down.

Nemov pleaded with his supporters to quiet down. [File photo]

Russian gymnast Alexei Yurievich Nemov is one of the most decorated gymnasts of all time. Besides his sense of showmanship and difficult routines, Nemov is remembered by many people for a famous judging controversy at Athens Olympics.

At the 2004 Athens Olympics, after performing a routine with six release skills in the high bar finals (including four in a row), the judges posted a score of 9.725. This put Nemov in third place with several athletes still to compete. The furious crowd erupted in a chorus of boos and cheers upon seeing the results and the competition was delayed for nearly 15 minutes. The judges, influenced by the crowd's furious reaction, reevaluated the routine, and increased Nemov's score to 9.762, which still ended up placing him out of the medals. The crowd continued its raucous protest, which only subsided after Nemov stepped up and pleaded with his supporters to quiet down for the sake of the other athletes.

Nemov's actions earned him great praise. "It was a class act by Alexei," said USA Gymnastics president Bob Colarossi. "What he did was in the true Olympic spirit."

This scandal was eventually credited as the catalyst for the reforming of the scoring system in gymnastics. The reforms were implemented in 2006.

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