Sunday, November 29, 2015

Nastia gets nasty

Liukin and father blame Aussies for low scores, world hunger, global warming.

Nastia gets nasty


So, Nastia Liukin missed out on a gold medal Monday. She and her father immediately blamed the low scores of an Australian judge, then blamed Aussie judges in general for other low scores Liukin has received over the past few competitions.

Then they puched a kangaroo, trapped a koala, ripped Paul Hogan's thespian genius and called Elle MacPherson a stretch-marked hussy.

Aussie aside, Liukin lost the gold yesterday due to an oft-used, 9-year-old tiebreaker rule that nobody knew: not her, not her coach, not the reporters who cover the sport.

Imagine a hockey game going into overtime, one team scoring, everybody leaves the ice ... but nobody knows why.


After Liukin and her dad, Valeri, betrayed their ignorance to a group of likewise ignorant scribes, the scribes stormed through the bowels of the Gymnastics Federation offices, demanding ... what?


A better copy of the rules already supplied by the Fed 15 minutes before? Information on a rule change almost a decade old?

A pig-in-a-blanket thing like the one Fed spokesman Philipe Silacci was eating when he was accosted by a frothing, insistent mob?

Ties used to mean mutiple golds or silvers or whatever. That changed after Atlanta in 1996.

Silacci and his boss, FIG pres. Prof. Bruno Grandi , each explained the rules and their history in heavy, wonderful Olympic accents.

What a mess.

She lost.

She still won all-around gold.

She'll still never have to work a day in her life.

And she's still as lovely as a daytime vampire.


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SAM DONNELLON's career began in Biddeford, Me., in 1981, and has included stops in Wilkes-Barre, Norfolk, and New York, where he worked as a national writer for the short-lived but highly acclaimed National Sports Daily. He has received state and national awards at each stop and since joining the Daily News in 1992 has been honored by the Associated Press Sports Editors, the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association, the National Association of Black Journalists, the Associated Press Managing Editors of Pennsylvania and the Keystone Awards. He and his wife have raised three fine children, none of whom are even the least bit impressed with the above. Sam is veteran of Olympics coverage for the Daily News, including the Games in Sydney and Turin, among others.

MARCUS HAYES grew up on a small farm outside of Hermon, NY., a small town near the Canadian border about the size of Reading Terminal Market. In high school he played three varsity sports and aspired to be faster, or more skilled, or taller. Having failed in those aspirations and seeking a warmer climate, Marcus attended Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and eventually graduated with a degree in Magazine Writing. He also earned a degree in English from the College of Arts and Sciences. To date he has written for no magazines. His English is spotty at best. Upon graduation in 1990, with Jim Boeheim's talent-leaden SU basketball teams having won no titles, Marcus spent 4½ years working for the now-absorbed Syracuse Herald-Journal covering high school sports, local small college sports and non-revenue sports at SU. Marcus joined the Daily News as a feature story writer in 1995. Among other assignments he has covered the Eagles and Phillies beats for most of his tenure. Still, the paper soldiers on.

Sam Donnellon and Marcus Hayes
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