“2010 Olympic Rings in Coal Harbour” by John Biehler is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/?ref=openverse.
For the past four years, gymnastics team USA has been perfecting each and every one of their skills to come out on top. Since the 1976 Olympic games held in Canada, team USA had brought home the gold every year following. This year, the year of 2020, they were under extreme pressure, as other countries such as Russia and the United Kingdom have been scoring similarly in the Olympic trials. They knew they had to bring bigger and better skills this year to ensure they maintained their record. Team USA has five girls: Chloe, Greta, Aubrey, Haley, and Silvia. While all girls are great gymnasts, Silvia really stands out from the rest. She competes skills no one in the world has ever competed, and even has four skills named after her. Every audience she competes in front of is mesmerized by her. As soon as her floor music starts playing, even if there are girls competing on other events, all eyes turn to her. At only sixteen years old, Silvia has become one of the greatest of her time.
The girls spent every single day that year running through routines, adding in extra workouts to improve their endurance. They all practiced at the same gym in Houston, Texas because they believed if they all have a close bond with one another, then they will compete even better. Although gymnasts compete in each event individually, it all comes down to the team in the end. For team USA, team bonding was just as important as putting in the hours in the gym. Even Silvia, who only needs four more medals to earn the most in the world, said that everything she does is for her team. She said in an interview, “If I happen to win the four medals at the Olympics that I need to become the most achieved gymnast in the world, that’s great! The real reason I’m here is for my team, and I am so proud of everything we have accomplished together.” Her attitude towards her sport is one of the many reasons she is adored by so many.
One practice, on March 16, 2020, the girls’ coach, Coach Taylor, walked in with a troubled look on his face. The gym had received a letter from the Olympic committee. The letter stated,
“There has been an outbreak of a virus called Divoc Virus. The spread is rapid; the virus is already observable worldwide. Please keep training, as we are not sure how this will affect the 2020 Olympic games. We will try our best to make a plan to keep these games running. Another letter will be sent soon with an update. Stay safe and healthy. Best regards, The Olympic Committee.”
The girls initially started freaking out at this news, thinking about the possibility of all their hard work leading to nothing. However, they quickly got it together after a pep talk from Coach Taylor. They wouldn’t let anything get in the way of winning this year.
A few weeks later, another letter was received in the mail. This letter explained, “Through further investigations, we have decided the Olympic games will still take place. However, they will be virtual this year. Attached to this letter is the schedule of when each country must attend the virtual meeting, and the judges will watch the routines from there. Other countries may join at any time to watch as well. Also, we would like to introduce a new team this year, team AI. Our warmest welcome to them. Any questions can be emailed to us: firstname.lastname@example.org. Best of luck to you all.” Although this will be quite the change, the girls were excited to know that they will still be able to perform. The next practice sparked lots of questions from the girls.
“Team AI? Who are they?” asked Greta.
“I’ve never heard of them. I wonder what country they’re representing,” Chloe responded.
“Well, if they’re new, they shouldn’t be much of a threat at all,” continued Haley.
“Exactly guys,” started Silvia, “We have nothing to worry about.”
They couldn’t wrap their minds around a new team joining the Olympic games, especially so close to the start of competition. Coach Taylor reminded them to stay focused on themselves, and not to worry about any of the other teams.
It was August 3, 2020, the day of the Olympics. The first team to compete was Russia. Team USA watched intensely, as Russia was one of their biggest competitors. They competed just as well as expected, receiving an overall team score of 163.5. While watching, the girls noticed that the AI judge was scoring much more harshly than all the other judges on the panel. Next up was the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, their team suffered two falls on beam, so they were no longer a threat to beating team USA. Although Russia scored high, the girls believed they had what it took for the victory. The competition proceeded and finally there were two teams left to compete: team USA and team AI. Team USA’s confidence was evident throughout all the girls’ performances. They were sticking their landings, pointing their toes, and showing extreme power and grace. Silvia was the last gymnast to compete for team USA and she needed a 15.3 on floor to win USA the gold. All eyes were glued to the monitor, waiting for her score to be revealed. Finally, 16.0 appeared on the screen, and team USA jumped for joy knowing that they’d won this year’s Olympics with a team score of 164.3. The team shared hugs and tears and they all called their families to share the good news. As excited as they were, team AI still had to compete, so they remained in the virtual meeting to watch them. The very first girl who competed for team AI received a score of 16.3. That was the highest score of the entire meet! Team USA’s hearts all dropped. If the whole team for team AI performs like this, they’d lose the gold. To their surprise, every single gymnast for this team received a 16.0 or higher on every single event, breaking Olympic records left and right. The judging panel, including the new AI judge, had no deductions for any of their routines. Team USA’s tears of joy quickly became tears of sorrow as the team score of 194.4 appeared on the screen for team AI. Team USA was equally skeptical as they were sad. Nobody in the history of gymnastics has ever competed that perfectly before. Coach Taylor’s wife, Sarah, was a computer scientist, so with her help, team USA was determined to get to the bottom of this. After analyzing the videos of team AI competing and some research, she concluded they used artificial intelligence. Sarah explained to them how artificial intelligence is used by having computer programs recognize patterns to learn and train through networks. To make realistic videos, like team AI did, you start with an input. The input recognizes text, images, data, speech, and emotions. Once the generator has all the information needed, it works to construct a video based on all the input— which the more input given, the better the result. The people behind the scenes of team AI must’ve trained their device to be able to mimic a gymnast competing skills through image classification beyond any human’s skill level. As far as the judging panel, artificial intelligence was used to train the “judges” to be able to recognize any deduction from any angle— which is impossible for the human eye to do. This explained why for all the other teams, their scores were substantially lower from the AI judge compared to the other judges.
For the next four years, team USA spent time together studying the science behind artificial intelligence. They couldn’t afford to lose another Olympic game, so they decided they would compete through the form of artificial intelligence instead of competing themselves. Through lots of hard work and dedication, team USA finally perfected their program to depict themselves competing high level skills perfectly. Now, summer of 2024, they are ready to win the gold back and start their undefeated streak back up again.
Du‐Harpur, X., et al. “What is AI? Applications of artificial intelligence to dermatology.” British Journal of Dermatology (1951), vol. 183, no. 3, 2020, pp. 423–430, https://doi.org/10.1111/bjd.18880.
The two main teams in my story are team USA and team AI. While this first article uses AI in medicine, it largely discusses how AI works and all the terminology used with it. This is important in my story because I need to know how to properly explain the logistics of how team AI works.
“Fujitsu’s Judging Support System Using AI/3D Sensing Technology for Gymnastics.” YouTube, YouTube, 2 Dec. 2021, www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkHfFQSDFu4.
This video source is a girl explaining how AI can be used to judge and correct her gymnastics, which will be extremely helpful to explain how the judges in my story will use AI technology to score the competitors.
Morse, Ben. “Simone Biles Wins Women’s All-around Final to Secure Record 21st World Championship Gold Medal.” CNN, Cable News Network, 6 Oct. 2023, www.cnn.com/2023/10/06/sport/simone-biles-history-world-championships-spt-intl/index.html.
While the characters in my story won’t be the same people who competed in the Olympics, Simone Biles is known to be the best of the best. So, all the characters in my story will have a similar skill level and gymnastics background as her. This article explains Simone Biles accomplishments and gives insight on scoring of gymnastics, both which will be helpful in my article.
“Auburn Gymnastics Facility Tour.” YouTube, YouTube, 27 June 2012, www.youtube.com/watch?v=6h5Wg4lqdeg&t=204s.
My story will take place inside of a gymnastics gym. This video shows a tour of a D1 NCAA gymnastics team’s facility. Many Olympic athletes also compete for D1 schools after the Olympics, so the facilities are the exact same used in these colleges and the Olympics. While all gymnastics gyms are very similar, this tour is more realistic at the Olympic level.