The German military riders team won the team gold medal, and Bettina Hoy won the single gold medal on wednesday. However, the "ground jury" (some sort of technical officials) decided that she should get 14 seconds.
Here's what happened:
They were doing Jump riding (I don't know the correct term, but you know what I mean) and when a rider starts he has 45 seconds time to ride around the course before he has to start the actual competitive riding. The time starts when a rider crosses an imaginery line before the first obstacle. Then on a display the timer starts to count the seconds a rider needs for the course. Now Bettina Hoy accidently crossed the start line during her "warm-up riding". It was absolutely obvious that she didn't intend to start, as she was riding very slow and not in the direction of the first obstacle. The timer that counts the seconds did not start, leaving no chance for her to realize that the time was already counting! Now she continued her warm-up for another 14 seconds (perfectly within the 45 seconds she has for warm-up) before she crossed the start line again, this time fast and approaching the first obstacle. She went on to an amazing performance winning Germany the gold medal for the team and making the ground for her own single medal.
Now afterwards, France, Great Britain and the United States appealed against the result, because of this incident. The ground jury accepted and denied Germany the gold medals.
Germany appealed against this decision at some sort of technical commision, saying that due to the timer not starting Hoy had no chance to realize the mistake and start asap (what she would obviously would have done had she known that the time was already counting) because the display still showed the warm-up countdown. The appeal was upheld again and Germany again was 2 gold medals richer.
Now France, Great Britain and the United States appealed again, and the CAS decided that the technical commitee did not have the right to decide on this issue and again made France in the team and a GB rider olympic champions.
Again, Bettina Hoy did not have any advantage because of the start!
This leaves Bettina Hoy and the German team, who have won the gold medals in a sportive way and simply were the best this time with no medals.
Not only do I think that the decision is wrong (because the ground jury made a mistake themselves and you can't punish an athlete for a mistake of the judges), but I also think that the appeals from France, Great Britain and the United States are against the Olympic Spirit. They happened to be worse than the German riders this time, and even if you were the favorite you should accept it. If the Germans had have any advantage, the appeal would be perfectly ok with me - but not like this.
I don't understand how you can be proud of a medal you didn't win?
While the US officials showed at least some symphaty and acknowledged that the situation was bad and that they did not want a medal ceremony, the French officials acted as if Bettina Hoy had shot their horses and obviously that they won the gold medal in a perfectly right way. Pathetic.
Just a little bit more food for thought: When the American swimmer Aaron Peirsol was disqualified (the DQF was later taken back), the Austrian Silver Medal winner Markus Rogan said that he doesn't want a gold medal he didn't win and can't be happy about winning this was. I think, this should be the Olympic Spirit.
What do you think about it?