Paul Hamm

August 18, 2004: Paul Hamm of the U.S. wins the Olympic gold medal in all-around competition in gymnastics, despite a big stumble in the vault that dropped him into 12th place.

Hamm worked his way back to the top and prevailed over Kim Dae-eun of South Korea by 0.012 points, the smallest margin of victory in Olympic history.

Yang Tae Young of South Korea took the bronze. But two days after the competition, South Korea filed a protest. Yang's routine on the parallel bars had been given a start value of 9.9. Based on what had happened in qualification, Yang should've had a start value of 10.0. Yang finished 0.049 points behind Hamm, so the extra point would've had an impact on the order of finish.

Controversy ensued. There was speculation that Olympic officials could declare Yang the winner or go with co-champions, similar to the way the ice dancing event unfolded at the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City. But according to the rules, South Korea waited too long to file the protest, and Hamm prevailed as the gold medalist.

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