The entire stadium cheered the name of the Russian sportsman for 30 minutes, and the judges got embarrassed.
Russian gymnast Aleksei Nemov produced sensation at the Olympics. This happened when Nemov participated in exercises on a horizontal bar on the last day of gymnastics competition in Athens.
Nemov was the third in the program of the gymnastic competition. The two gymnasts who competed before him – Japanese Isao Ioneda and American Morgan Hum – did their exercises “clean”, but with no excellence. However, they were graded quite high – 9.787 points. It could be read on Aleksei’s face that he came to compete as if it was his last fight. And the fight took place. The Russian sportsman coped with the task brilliantly, did the complex elements of his program good, and the only thing that could be criticized was his landing.
When the grade 9.725 appeared on the electronic indicator panel and number “3” was highlighted to show the position of the Russian sportsman at the competition, an extraordinary thing happened... Тhere was no such a thing in the history of gymnastics. For 15 minutes (!) the public was standing and shouting to express their indignation and disagreement with the judges’ grade. Greeks, Russians, people from other countries were whistling and cheering Nemov’s name. Al the people at the stadium were indignant. Absolute champion of the world American Paul Hum was at a loss. It was hard for him to compete under such conditions, and he was standing near the sports equipment. Then an extremely unusual thing happened. Nobody can recall something like this. The judges started hesitating, and the two judges – from Malaysia and Canada – gave Nemov new, higher grades. In this way, Aleksei’s grade was raised up to 9.762. The public was not satisfied with the new decision of the judges either, and the people calmed down only after Nemov applauded to the audience with a smile and put his finger to his lips to ask the people to stop making a noise. The new grade did not change the overall ranking, and the Russian gymnast was in the 5th position. However, only the king of gymnastics could make judges admit their lack of objectivity, and the title of “king” is probably more honorable than “Olympic champion”... After the competition, Aleksei Nemov thanked the reporters for support and said, “It was terrific!”
After the competition Mr. Nemov said that support of the audience is more important for him than Olympic mеdal. However, he refused to comment on the judges’ grades and just mentioned that some of the grades were not objective. Nemov said he had prayed to produce good result, and said that he was glad with his performance. He said he would continue doing gymnastics.