Rio Olympics: Ukraine Gymnastics Team Takes Zero — What Was The Reason?

Ukraine men's gymnastics

Last night, everyone watched the Ukraine men’s gymnastics team on the Rio Olympics and could not understand what was going on at all. It was shocking to watch them take a zero and not try to win this very important competition. The fans went crazy over what the Ukraine gymnastics team did last night. Fox News was able to solve if and figure out why the Ukraine gymnastics team did what they did during the Rio Olympics on Monday night.

The fact that the Ukraine gymnastics team took zeros on their score last night made it where they would be in last place for sure. Ukraine only had two athletes complete the high bar, parallel bars, and floor exercise. This was really surprising, and nobody knew why Ukraine made this decision last night. It was weird to watch Maksym Semiankiv go up to the high bar in the middle of the competition. Semiankiv hung onto the bar for a second and then dropped and nodded to the judges. For some reason, this Ukraine gymnast didn’t even do a routine. Fans were shocked as Ukraine got their zero and didn’t even explain why they were doing it this way.

Last night, when this all went down on the Rio Olympics, Ukraine didn’t explain what was going on at all. They later explained the situation, and Ukraine’s Oleg Verniaiev went to Instagram to share what happened.

“I would like to personally apologize for the situation in today’s team final competition. There was unpredictable circumstances. We found out that we won’t be competing as a full team 15 minutes prior to start of the competition when one of our team members came back from the hospital. At that point we weren’t able to change our line up.

“I would like to personally apologize in front of Switzerland team as well. I’m sure they were disappointed to see this situation tonight.”

Now, this is certainly a good reason for the Ukraine gymnastics’ team to take a zero. It sounds like they didn’t have a choice but to do it this way. It would have been nice if they could have explained it last night so fans were not so confused. This is hard on Switzerland, and Verniaiev apologized for how it all went down. They finished ninth in team qualifying and then just had to watch Ukraine throw away their chance. Switzerland didn’t even get a chance, and Ukraine totally blew their own chance.

The Washington Post explained that what the Ukraine gymnastics team did left everyone confused. NBC gymnastics blogger Andy Thornton tweeted that it was a “planned strategy” by the Ukrainians, but nobody was sure what they had planned. It was very odd to watch the Ukraine team take all zeros at the Rio Olympics and not even try.

Many people wondered if there was a reason that Ukraine did this and if they were trying to prove a point. Speculation was that it could have been to make a mockery of the sport as a form of protest against the International Gymnastics Federation. During the 2012 London Games, Ukraine was denied a bronze after Japan appealed a score on pommel horse. It did end up getting changed, though. Maybe Ukraine had a reason to do this, but if so, they are not explaining it to anyone and are staying quiet for now. Another reason that is being speculated is that they did this so one of their gymnasts could rest up for a later competition.

Were you shocked to see the Ukraine gymnastics team throw away their chance at a win? Do you think that the reason Ukraine is giving is the truth? Sound off in the comments section below, and don’t miss watching the Rio Olympics on NBC.

[Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images]