2008 Beijing Olympic games - first hand story
*First impressions and experience from Orna Shai that was invited to judge in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games by the FIG.
The 2008 Beijing Olympic Games is my third Olympic Game. (I was also a judge in the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games and the 2004 Athens Olympic Games).
In all 3 Olympic Games I was invited by the FIG as a neutral judge because I posses the title of an EXPERT judge, the highest ranking in judging.
I arrived about a week before the competition began because there are raffles to the judging staff and podium training that constitute a general rehearsal to the gymnasts, coaches and judges.
At the opening ceremony, the judges were viewers only and the experience was overwhelming, the atmosphere was electrifying and even though we arrived 2 hours before it began, we saw spectacular dance shows.
The performances, the fireworks and the atmosphere, I was speechless!
There was a very high level in the gymnastics competitions.
In the team competition, the Chinese and the Americans competed over the first place but a higher number of mistakes from the Americans determined the competition and the Chinese won because of their high level, consistency and the amazing supporting crowed. The competition over the third place was with the Russian team and the Romanian team and here also because of many mistakes from the Russian team, especially on the beam, gave the third place to the Romanian team who also gave a good and clean competition. In the team competition I was a judge on vault.
In the all-around competition won, and rightly so, Nastia Lukin from the USA. She is an elegant gymnast that executes high level elements flawlessly, especially on bars. She was cool all the competition long even with vast pressure and when she was announced as the winner she cried from happiness and excitement and moved everyone during the medal ceremony.
This is a perfect model of a gymnast.
In the all-around competition I was a judge on vault.
In the final competition, there were a lot of struggles.
On bars, 2 gymnasts got the same score and to determine between the first and the second place, the gymnast with the higher execution score, which was the Chinese, won.
On beam and floor won the gymnasts with the higher starting value.
On vault, won the gymnast who executed the 2 highest value vaults and this gymnast also did a new jump at the podium training, , amazing!!!
In the final competition I was a judge on beam.
At all stages of the competition I got honors by the FIG.
We also had time to travel and in Beijing there were many beautiful places such as the forbidden city, "Lama" temple, "Eden" temple, summer palace and of course, the Olympic area.
There were many skyscrapers but you could still see a lot of poverty areas where people live in the streets. We also did a lot of shopping and everything was cheep and fake.
In conclusion, a great and amazing experience but it’s a shame the Zahava Ziaaman and Vered Finkel did not participated because Vered could easily represent Israel gymnastics respectfully.
I was very happy that Alex Shatilov got to the final on floor and my dream is to see one of our gymnast get to the final stages in the Olympic Games.