By Hannah Wong , FashionnStyle Reporter | Jul 31, 2012 10:26 AM EDT
Jordyn Wieber is not the first one to suffer from such controversy, but it does feel like an injustice when the world's top gymnast failed to qualify for the final round despite achieving one of top scores.
Wieber ranked fourth among all gymnasts for the women's gymnastics individual all-around in qualifying, but she didn’t advance to the Top 24 just because two of her U.S. teammates scored higher. Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas each ranked second and third at the qualifying.
The new rule states that each country can send only up to two gymnasts for the final round.
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Wieber's coach John Geddert called the rule ridiculous, saying it penalizes countries that have deep rosters, according to The Washington Post.
“We have always known the 2 per country rule, we are not crying of spilt milk, yet it makes it difficult to explain how the 4th best AA finisher, the former world champion, does not get a shot at fulfilling her dream, just because her country happens to be incredibly strong,” Geddert wrote in a Facebook post.
“The sting of this injustice is painful and for the record I have voiced this opinion time and time again …. To penalize an athlete or country for being OUTSTANDING is not in the spirit of sport and certainly not the spirit of the Olympic Games.”
Whether the rule complies with the spirit of sport or not is not beyond argument, and thus is stirring much controversy.
"So instead of Wieber, a former world champion in the sport, participating in the finals, you now get to see a girl who scored almost six points below Wieber compete in an event she likely has no chance at. Yay," Tim Keeney, a featured columnist of Bleacher Report commented cynically.
Even without the rule, 14 countries would have been represented at the gymnastics individual all-around final, which is almost double the number of countries that advance to most gold medal events, Keeney argued.
If Wieber didn’t have to be removed because of the controversial rule, there would have still been enough diversity.
In response to the "Jordyn Wieber controversy," Jamal Wilburg, a featured columnist of, again, Bleacher Report, rather argued I favor of the rule.
"When the FIG (Federation Internationale de Gymnastique) reduced the amount of athletes that can compete from three per country to two, they also reduced the field from 36 to 24," Wilburt explained.
"With the reduced field, controls had to be implemented to keep a small section of dominant countries from taking all the spots in the competition, which would not be good for the sport globally."
He further quoted the Olympics Creed to show how the rule is in line with the principles behind the global event.
"The important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, the important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well," the Creed reads.
Though Wieber may be bitter over the lost hope of earning an individual gold, the women's gymnastics team competition awaits her excellence to shine.
The competitor for the U.S. will be the Russian team that won the world championship in 2010.
"We're going to have to cheer her up and hype her up," teammate Gabby Douglas said of Wieber.
"I am so proud of our team today and I can't wait for team finals!!" Wieber tweeted after the individual qualifying, giving hope to the fans that she is recovering.
The women's gymnastics team final is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. EDT, Tuesday.
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