Across the ocean and over in London, the USA men’s and women’s gymnastics teams have been facing some individual and team disappointments, respectively.
USA women’s gymnastics has done amazingly well as a team. They came in first in their group in the preliminary round and have gone on to reclaim the Gold medal, the first team gold since 1996, from the controversy that happened four years ago in Beijing with the possibility of underage Chinese gymnasts taking the Gold. These girls make up a talented team of gymnasts that were favored to take home the Gold by holding off the other countries with strong teams like Romania, Russia, and China.
With an overall score of 183.596, the Americans had a commanding lead over the other countries, with Russia taking the silver medal with a 178.530.
The Russian gymnasts fell apart during the last two rotations, having many balance checks on beam and not sticking the landings and missing skill sets in the floor exercise.
Then comes their individual struggle. The all around competition of 24 gymnasts allows the top two from each squad, the ones who have the two highest scores from the first round of competition, to compete in the individual all around final. This is the ultimate goal from all Olympic gymnasts, to be the best in the world in all events. Yes, it is amazing if your team can bring home a Gold medal, but to add to that success would be an individual all around Gold.
Jordyn Wieber, the most talked about and favored all around gymnast going into the Olympic games, and current World champ, has fallen short of her individual dream. She finished third on her team just behind Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman, therefore not allowing her to continue individually.
Is this right? Wieber most likely still has an all around score better other teams top individual competitors, but she can’t compete for the title because of a rule. It should be the best of the best, even if that means there are more from one team than another.
It is also tough in this first round of team competition where you want your teammates to perform well, giving your team the best chance of medaling. But at the same time you are trying to beat your teammates so you personally can move on to go to the all around and get your own medal. This is an emotionally tough task for these teenage girls to handle.
The USA Men have disappointingly come in fifth place in the team competition, landing two spots shy of a medal. The team got off to a shaky start, which doesn’t lead your mind and body in a positive direction. Their focus now can’t be to dwell on the fact that they fell short. They have Danell Leyva and John Orozco competing in the all around.
Individual event medals are still up for grabs as well. But with USA men’s gymnastics medaling in the past two Olympic games, and falling short this year, the guys have to focus and come out strong in the all around and individual events.
Jordyn Wieber has a mental toughness that can get her through this pain she is living in London. Now the pain is masked in the glory of a team Gold medal. She was able to focus for her team, rock the floor exercise in the last rotation and take home a Gold.