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Reason # 5,181,346 The Two Per Country Rule Sucks

Dear Bruno Grandi, Nellie Kim, FIG, et all,

Yesterday, the USA took all of the podium spots in the men's slope style skiing competition.

What does this have to do with gymnastics you say?

Well, clearly, the skiing federation has allowed for more than two people from each country to advance to the final round. FIG, you used to allow more than two gymnasts from each country to advance to the all-around finals.

Gymnastics fans will remember that the all-around podium at the 2000 Sydney Games looked like this:

Before all of this shit went down:

After the 2000 Olympics, the two per country rule was introduced to the all-around competition. The idea behind it is to have more countries represented in the finals. The idea isn't a terrible idea, however, it sounds a lot better in theory that it actually does in practice.

The problem with the two per country rule is that talented athletes who deserve a chance to compete get left in the dust. Obviously, there are other reasons the two per country rule exists, one is to shorten the competitions.Which doesn't really make sense either, but that's beside the point. The arguments against the two per country rule seem to outweigh the positives.

Jordyn Wieber is a prime example. The 2011 World Champion, went into the Olympics favored to win the gold medal in the all-around (or at least to win a medal). She placed 5th in the qualifications behind her teammates, Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas. Gabby went on to win the all-around gold and Jordyn did help team USA bring home a second Olympic Gold. She didn't bring anything else home as she didn't do well in the floor finals. Later, it was revealed that she had an injury during London. Statistically, the previous year's world champion is not likely to win the all-around gold at the Olympics, unless you're Lilia Podkopayeva and you sweat awesomeness and rainbows. While I'm sure Viktoria Komova was thrilled to death at not having Jordyn in the all-around, would it have meant more to compete against her and beat her on her own merit, not because of some arbitrary rule.

I'm not saying I want to see the US completely sweep the podium in gymnastics. No, no no. That would bore me to tears. I'm simply saying that I want to see the best in the world compete and win. That's what I am saying. If it's a gymnast from France, the Ukraine, Brazil, the USA, Russia or China, then so be it. The best need to be allowed to compete.

Really FIG, I understand that you want to have more countries represented in the all around final, really I do. I agree that it makes sense in the event finals. But really, with more gymnasts specializing in different events and staying in the sport longer, is it really necessary for the two per country rule?

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