What Is A Gymnastics Inquiry? Laurie Hernandez Asked For A Breakdown Of Her Score

On Monday afternoon, U.S. Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez competed on beam, coming in second place to Sanne Wevers of the Netherlands, who took the gold medal. Hernandez's routine was nearly perfect, however, which prompted her coaches to file an inquiry into her overall score to make sure she had received the correct points for each part of her routine. The inquiry was rejected in the end, and Hernandez took second place. But what is a gymnastics inquiry? Hernandez isn't the first Team USA gymnast to rely on the procedure to ensure she received the appropriate score.

Hernandez scored a 15.333 in the competition, and while this is an excellent score, it wasn't enough to beat Wevers — so Team USA wondered where the deductions came in. According to People, the inquiry process in gymnastics involves a request for a breakdown of one's score from the judges. If it is accepted, judges are expected to review their scores and show their deductions and their reasoning behind the deductions.

After the London Olympics in 2012, when Team USA gymnast Aly Raisman's coach filed an inquiry into her points, Sports Illustrated reported on the complicated process, noting that it's essentially an opportunity for coaches to contest a score they didn't like. However, the request for an inquiry into the score is only valid "between the time the gymnast's final score is posted and before the end of the next gymnast's exercise."

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Gymnastics scoring is broken down into multiple categories. There's the difficulty score judged by the D panel and the execution score measured by the E panel. Then there are neutral deductions. The final score comes from adding the difficulty and execution scores and then subtracting the deductions. NBC Olympics reports that neutral deductions include small issues like stepping out of bounds during the floor event, not adhering to the time requirements, or even issues with one's attire (for instance, if an undergarment is showing).

Coaches can request either a verbal or written inquiry. However, there is a fee for filing, which is only returned if the inquiry leads to a significant finding in the scoring process. In Hernandez's case, the inquiry was rejected and she took the silver medal. She's still a boss either way.

At the end of Monday's competitions, Team USA's Final Five had won a total of eight medals over the course of the 2016 Games, proving they are setting the bar high for gymnastics. The Huffington Post reported that this is Hernandez's first international gymnastics meet ever. So the world better keep an eye out for the young gymnast from here on out, because she is definitely paving the way to greatness.

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