Up until 2008 Beijing Olympic games, Athens was the worst Olympics for the Russian Team.

Not only for the Russian men who did not earn a single medal, but also for the Russian women who did not earn a single gold, for the first time in their history. 

There was a scandal regarding the scoring system. In men's gymnastics' competition, Alexei Nemov got underscored on high bar during the all-around final finishing outside the podium while in women's gymnastics', Svetlana Khorkina was visibly underscored on vault in the all around leading to her second place finish behind US Carly Patterson.

The same thing happen during the team final, the Russians felt heavily underscored on uneven bars, beam and vault.  “When the competition started and Anna Pavlova received a 9.425 on vault I thought that the judges decided to be stricter in the finals, but then I saw the scores for the American gymnasts and I understood that the scoring system was biased against us” said double Olympic Champion Elena Zamolodchikova.

“The judges planned to place us in the fifth or sixth place” believed the Olympic medalist Anna Pavlova. "But our performance without any major mistakes earned us the bronze. We would have won the silver medal hadn’t the judges deducted a tenth in each of our performance."

“We had a good execution and I am very pleased with my team’s performance. Our medals were earned fair and square” said Zamolodchikova. 

Ludmila Ezhova

“ They are like gold medals to us ” added Ludmila Ezhova.

In qualifications the Russian team ended up in 4-th place behind the Chinese team, but mistakes in the final, made the Chinese finish in 7th place.

The gold was awarded to the Romanian team while the USA took silver.

In individual final, the Russians took a silver in the all around (Svetlana Khorkina) and bronze on vault (Anna Pavlova).

Written by Anastasia Bostanaru

Photos by Sing Lo



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