Monday, August 18, 2008

Wacky Tiebreak System Costs Liukin Gold in Beijing.

On Monday, USA competitor Nastia Liukin tied He Kexin in her uneven bar routine, yet walked home with the silver medal instead of the gold. The two gymnasts' routines scored identical difficulty and execution values, requiring the computers to resorts to a sophisticated tiebreaker algorithm to determine the winner.

The tiebreaker algorithm examined deductions from the middle 4 judges in the competition. Shockingly, these values were tied as well.

The computer, at a loss for calculations, had to resort to it's uber-complicated "sudden death" routine. The computer's programmer, who requested to remain nameless, was contacted for an explanation: "The computer chooses the youngest gymnast."

Kexin, at the tender age of 12, was instantly the clear winner.