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Gracious me, talk about a rowdy crowd.

We got to see the amazing Aleksei Nemov once again, shining on Horizontal Bar with six -- SIX -- stunning release skills. He was just phenomenal. A little hop on the landing, but it was a stellar routine, and the crowd knew it. I wish I could find a video of it online to watch again. The judges gave him a way-too-low score of 9.725, and then, what never happens, happened.

The crowd simply wasn't having it. They booed for a full ten minutes. They wouldn't stop. Finally, the judges revised the score to 9.762, and the crowd was still angry. (I agree with them, FWIW -- it was superb.)

This was unfortunate for Paul Hamm, who has had a rough Olympics, poor guy. Aleksei actually went onto the podium, blew the crowd a kiss, and gestured to them to be quiet so Hamm could do his routine in peace.

And Hamm did it admirably, scoring a 9.812, which was good enough for silver (Italy's Igor Cassina won the gold in a tie-breaker). And kudos to his brother, as well, who did an excellent routine (and was knocked out for the bronze, also by a tiebreaker).

The gymnastics judging has received a ton of criticism even from professionals in the field, so I'm thinking some sort of review (read: butt-kicking) is going to be in order. Is it so much to ask them just to be fair? If I were in the gymnasts' shoes, and I thought it was all rigged or skewed, I'd be hard-pressed to put forth my best effort knowing it was all a sham.

I am all for the very best winning, regardless of nationality. That's what keeps all of the athletes striving, and that's the supposed spirit of the Olympic Games. Sometimes, it seems the judges need a reminder of that.

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