It’s Good to be Back. Some First Thoughts on the Olympics
First of all, a huge thanks goes out to Clarissa for doing a wonderful job keeping up the blog while I was gone. She did a fantastic job, and I will admit that I even read my own blog for Olympic news!
I spent a good 14 days this summer knowing that there were new Olympic champions and having no clue who they were, which I must say was quite frustrating. I got a tiny bit of gymnastics news from a newspaper about a week ago, but all I really learned was that Rosie MacLennan won trampoline, Russia and Belarus won gold and silver in Rhythmic groups, Victoria Moors did not medal on floor and Romania did not win more than two of team, all around vault, beam and floor (bars was never even close to being a consideration).
Once I got somewhere that I could use wifi, I looked up the full results in a bit of a stupid way, but it quickly showed me a good chunk of what had happened at the Olympics. I went on Jordyn Wieber’s wikipedia page, and I saw that she had won team gold in London, and that was it. I suppose I shouldn’t have been too surprised after “Jordyn Wieber Controversy” popped up as I searched her name, but it was still surprising. And the surprise just kept on coming.
For example, how was I supposed to know that Yao Jinnan and Larisa Iordache were injured? Not knowing that before seeing the results made them quite a bit confusing. And Gabby- I can’t say that I was shocked, more like excited in a “REALLY!?!” way. Yes, I did check my bags with my hands shaking. For all of the tears and disappointment that NBC talked about, I was frankly surprised that Russia did so well, considering their Europeans, and going back to Larisa’s injury, I was surprised that Romania didn’t win a few more medals. Then, of course, I got to the McKayla thing and had one of the biggest WTF moments of my life.
I just finished watching the coverage a few minutes ago, and I was, for the most part, pleased. Yeah, I wish that Russia didn’t have that meltdown in team finals, but they put the pressure on while they could and the US did a fantastic job and won the gold that they completely deserved. This is two years of near-perfect team finals in a row, which is quite unbelievable.
The all around was a bit too much of a two-way battle, but the top two were truly spectacular with the exception of one vault landing. You always hope that an Olympic all around final will bring out the best in gymnasts, and in this case, it most certainly brought out the best in Douglas and Komova. They were the two who should have been fighting for the gold if everyone hit, and somehow, despite my belief that they would probably be the first to breakdown, they delivered under pressure. I only wish that some other gymnasts had been able to compete with them, but if you think about it, nobody else has scored a high 61 or a 62 this quad and I don’t think that anybody else could have, at least not in their current shape.
Vault- I’m still in shock, but I think that the results were what they should have been. Again with bars, the best three finished 1-2-3, and really, it came down to those dismounts, and Mustafina absolutely nailed hers. I thought that beam was a bit disappointing with the gymnasts who really could have challenged the chinese falling, but the medals went where they should have and Deng and Sui did a fantastic job. Aly’s floor was spot on, and who doesn’t love a good comeback story in Ponor and Mustafina? I felt bad for Ferrari with the tie breaker… then I saw her leotard.
All-in-all, it was a fantastic olympic games which I intend to write more about in the future. I really hope that many of these gymnasts continue to compete until 2016, because they are fantastic athletes and having watched them this entire quadrennium (this is my first following all the way through), I am honestly very proud of each and every one of them.