Paul Hamm Is A Big Fat Idiot

August 23, 2004 in Uncategorized

Well, he’s actually much more like a tiny, extremely lean, gymnast.

The opportunity this guy has is unbelievable. For those of you who don’t know, Hamm won the all-around gold in Men’s Gymnastics last week. It was pretty amazing in that he fell on the vault, fell to 12th place, and clawed his way back to “win”.

The fireworks began when International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) ruled that Yang Tae-young from North Korea, the second place finisher, was unfairly docked a tenth of a point. And not the like rigged Salt Lake City skating scandal in ’02, but on a simple clerical error. If the judges didn’t make the mistake? Hamm would get the silver, and Tae-young would get the gold.

Now I have no clue what it’s like to be an Olympian. Yes, I could make a good living shaking my booty, but I’m a couple bpms short of being world-class. I don’t know what it’s like to be the very, very best of the very, very best—but that won’t stop me from talking about it.

When the news broke that Hamm didn’t deserve to win, he had a very small window of opportunity to give it up. The way I see it, there are two major rewards for an Olympian:

  • A: Accomplishment — You’ve worked your entire life, you don’t drink, you don’t smoke, you’ve been doing push-ups since you were a fetus, and now you’ve done it. You’ve proved to everyone that you are the best in the world.

Without some solid denial, “Accomplishment” should be thrown out the window. It’s obvious to everyone that Hamm shouldn’t have gotten the gold. Deep down, I think he knows it too. So what’s left?

  • B: Money — It may sound callous, but it’s true. How much TV can you watch without seeing a commerical for Michael Phelps? Trust me, that 19-year-old isn’t driving an Escalade because his town had a bake sale.

Can you imagine the superstar status Hamm would have been elevated to, if he had simply given up the medal on the podium? He’d be a PR firm’s wet dream. He’d be a national hero, he’d be invited to the White House, he’d be on every single late night talk show as, “That stand-up guy who gave up his Gold because it was the right thing to do,” and he’d get so many sponsorship deals, he’d never have to work another day in his life.

Instead? Hamm is now upset that the FIG is even reviewing what went wrong, his mother releases an idiotic statement about how many times her boys have gotten bad breaks, and that this is no different, and the South Koreans are going ape.

Hamm didn’t just have a window of oppurtunity, but a red carpet, flashing neon signs pointing the way, an usher to help him through, Lindsay Lohan waiting for him at the other side (heh), and a serious opportunity to regain some international favor for the US, but his mouth and his hubris slammed that window shut.

13 Comments to Paul Hamm Is A Big Fat Idiot

  1. ugh. I agree. he’s just not very bright nor gracious.
    just like our country has been since GW took over.

  2. jen on 23 August 2004
  3. It’s such a W. thing to do it’s ridiculous.

  4. Mark on 23 August 2004
  5. Devil’s advocate- He wasn’t unfairly docked. He had the wrong start point. And it took them two days to enter the complaint. Which seems kinda long, and is way longer than the rules allow for.

  6. ali on 24 August 2004
  7. I think that makes it even more against him. There’s no subjectivity–it’s a clerical error. He didn’t deserve the gold.

  8. Mark on 24 August 2004
  9. I like your blog because you actually respond to comments. The analogy that I’ve heard is that it’s like a bad call in football… even if they affect the outcome of the game there isn’t a lot of recourse for the losing team. I do agree that Paul would have won big by stepping down, perhaps an intermediate measure of giving two golds? It’s been done before.

  10. Nick on 25 August 2004
  11. Incidentally, does anyone watch the olympics in HD? Usually I watch it on TiVo for convenience’s sake, but now I’m watching it live in HD, and it’s an astounding difference. We’re living in the future.

  12. Nick on 25 August 2004
  13. I understand how hard it would have been to agree to share the gold or something, but at the very least he should stop running his yap. If he had just kept his mouth shut and said, “I’ll do whatever the Gymnastics Federation wants”, and left the onus on them, everything would’ve been fine.
    No, I haven’t seen any of the olymipcs on HD! I really need to get out to a sports bar or something to check it out…

  14. Mark on 25 August 2004
  15. Odd that no one has mentioned how the judges missed deductions for extra pauses on the pbars, so technically the guy would still have lost the gold to Hamm if they really rescored it correctly.
    The link:
    By the way, blaming GW seems just as outrageous and non-sensical as say…our making judgments on either athlete’s responses under the pressures.

  16. Joy on 25 August 2004
  17. I don’t think we can blame GW, and Hamm is _extremely_ miniscule in the big scheme of things when compared to W., but I definitely think you can see similarities.
    The mistakes that were made by the judges are totally different. Those were subjective mistakes, like a bad call in football. A wrong starting score is a clerical error. Like giving a team only 2 points for a field goal instead of 3–I think it’s totally different.
    We can argue the points all day long, but what can be said for ceratin, is that Hamm handled all of this horribly, constantly making things worse with his ridiculous statements. Much like W., there are right ways and wrong ways to do things. No one is angry that Saddam is gone, but everyone agrees W. could’ve handled it better.

  18. Mark on 26 August 2004
  19. I agree one hundred percent with Joy. Everyone is castigating Paul for not giving up the gold. But no one is mentioning that he actually won it because the Korean broke the rules on holds during his parallel bar routine. Tim Daggett, for NBC, showed the tape of the Korean and detailed how he broke the rule. Paul Hamm won the Gold.

  20. Steve on 26 August 2004
  21. I’m not castigating him for not giving up the gold. I think he threw away a _huge_ opportunity, but I never said he was wrong to not give it back.
    He will forever be known as that guy in the Olympics who had that crazy controversy. People will argue (like we are doing right now) on what he should or should not have done. Totally overshadowed is the amazing comeback he had after falling off the vault–even the pro-American commentators started putting sizing up the nails in his coffin. For that he’s an idiot. Not wrong, but a big fat idiot.
    What he is definitely wrong about is the way he has handled this whole thing. All it would have taken was, “I’m disappointed that there is controversy. I’ll happily do whatever the governing bodies say.” And that would have squashed it! The onus would have been on the FIG, and the various Olympics committees, and there wouldn’t be an issue. Instead, he whines and bitches about how unfair it all is, and how stressed he is, and leaves Athens as soon as Gymnastics is done.

  22. Mark on 27 August 2004
  23. I can’t really believe it myself either. I mean…the situation became perfectly clear. The final score, after everything had been ‘correctly’ tallied up showed that the korean guy had won fair and square. So I’m wondering how Paul Hamm could seriously think he’s the gold medalist after knowing clearly that he’s not. It’s a case of either Paul fooling himself (which I do not believe at all), or he’s a bad sport.
    I mean…c’mon …since it’s already absolutely clear that the korean guy had won, then a sensible and wise person would immediately know what to do…that is, simply know that the gold medal is not yours and just give it to the guy that rightfully deserves it. Paul Hamm was not robbed of the gold medal, since he knows it himself that he faultered on the vault, and he knows the scores were not rigged …. just that the silly olympic clerk didn’t know how to do very simple maths addition that’s all. Actually, the olympic committee should get their act together to avoid these unacceptable blunders. But I’m also glad that it happened, because the incidence revealed something odd about Paul Hamm’s personality.
    The thing is…everybody knows that the korean guy won, and Paul Hamm didn’t win. So holding onto the gold medal doesn’t really mean anything if you already know that it wasn’t you that had won.

  24. Kenny on 26 October 2004
  25. That moron just got arrested for assault, drunk in public and also threatened to kill the police. lol. I always knew he was an idiot. He didn’t deserve the gold medal either.

  26. PaulHamm douchebag on 14 September 2011

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