On July 29th, 2012 during the pre-qualifying rounds of the women's gymnastics competition in the 30th Summer Olympic Games, United States gymnast and defending World Champion Jordyn Wieber was eliminated from participating in the women's all around finals to compete for the gold medal. What is shocking is that Jordyn was not eliminated for low scores, a disqualification, or an injury. Jordyn Wieber, who had the fourth best score in the preliminaries, was eliminated due to a rule created in 2004 that limits participation in the all around finals to only two competitors per country despite their ability.
Wieber is not the first highly qualified athlete to fall victim to this rule. Bridget Sloan, Deng Linlin, Ksenia Afanasyeva, AnaMaria Tamirjan, Mohini Bhardwaj, Yelena Zamolodchikova and Alona Kvasha all have been stripped of the chance to prove their skills simply because there were other members on their team that had a better day.
The Olympic Games is the top sporting competition in the world, and should highlight the very best in the world, regardless of what country that athlete is from. The gold, silver and bronze medals in each sport are global symbols that state loudly to the rest of the world - "I was one of the best three people in the entire world at my sport".
This rule tarnishes the Olympic medals of competitors from around the world. With this rule in place the winner of the bronze medal may not be the third best athlete, they may be fourth, fifth, or even lower on the global scale.
We ask that the International Gymnastics Federation and the International Olympic Committee change the rule to allow the best 24 athletes, no matter what country they are from, to compete for medals and prove themselves on the world stage.
Aaron Watkins started this petition with a single signature, and now has 240 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.