|http://sports.sina.com.cn 2004年08月28日 16:36 新浪体育|
With three silver and two gold medals collectively wrapped around their necks, twin brothers Paul and Morgan Hamm were enthusiastically greeted by a gathering of young gymnastics students at New York's Chelsea Piers on Thursday.
It was a refreshing reception, especially for all-round gold medallist Paul, after having to endure glaring scrutiny and the booing of fans in the wake of the controversy that ultimately led to the suspension of three judges.
Hamm is convinced that video tape review reveals he is the true champion, and feels that a lack of definitive action on both the International and US gymnastics federations left him to fend for himself.
"I did feel like a lot of the pressure was being put on me to make the decision about the medals, when in fact it's the FIG (Internationl Gymnastics Federation) that has the ultimate say. And it was a little bit tough to be put in that situation, but I think everyone now is starting to see things clearly and have all the facts, and people should realise that I was the Olympic champion that night."
Twin brother Morgan found it difficult to watch his brother have to shoulder the responsibility of the controversy.
"Yeah, it was a tough situation and unfortunate that it happened, but, you know, I had to try and keep him focused, because we still had to compete in a bunch of events... he had four event finals and I had two, so he did a great job at staying focused and went out there and won a silver medal in the high bar, even when the crowd was booing right before his routine and he had to wait 10 minutes, so I'm very proud of him."
While the booing prior to Hamm's routine was aimed at the judges, who the crowd felt had unfairly scored Russia's Aleksei Nemov, the 21-year-old Hamm had to perform in a hostile environment en route to his silver medal performance.
Judging by the reception in New York, where he has already been greeted warmly on several national television programmes, there is little controversy back home.