"No thanks," says South Korean fencer Shin A Lam to a "special medal" that fencing's governing body has plans to give to her, in recognition that she probably got jobbed at the Olympics Monday night.
Can't blame her, either. The medal, the International Fencing Federation said, would be for "aspiration to win and respect for the rules."
No disrespect to the IFF, they're trying to do something - anything - to appease the 25 year old South Korean, who thought she might earn a berth in the gold medal event, only to have it taken away from her when an extra second was added to her duel with German fencer Britta Heidemann. She ended up losing in that last second, and did not recover, failing to even win the bronze. Her appeal of the decision was not upheld.
First of all, a medal for "aspiration to win and respect for the rules" sounds like something every single kid in every single league in North America now gets because it's just not correct to have winners and losers. Just winners.
Secondly, wouldn't every single Olympian get one of these things? Aren't they all supposed to be trying to win within the bounds of the rules? Sounds like they could name it the "I'm just happy to be here" medal, except that wouldn't apply to Shin, as you can bet your official London Olympic die-cast Concorde keychain (yes, you can get one of those) that she really isn't. And sure wasn't, on Monday night when she staged a protest at the fencing venue, seen here in a Guardian Lego re-creation:
Shin is having no part of any made up medal of appeasement:
"It does not make me feel better because it's not an Olympic medal. I don't accept the result because I believe it was a mistake."
The governing body for fencing appears to agree, but there is no remedy in place to correct the mistake and allow Shin to take a crack at the gold, since, as mentioned, her appeal of the matter was already turned down, forcing her to try and gather herself for a shot at bronze.
As for the medal for "aspiration to win and respect for the rules"?
That needs to go the way of Olympic croquet.