Alicia Sacramone has been waiting for the 2012 London Olympics a lot longer than most athletes preparing for these Games. She has been on a mission that was supposed to end in triumph for the 24-year-old.
Unfortunately, Sacramone was left off the United States Olympic team following the trials on Sunday night. The U.S. Olympic team tweeted out the official roster without her name attached to it.
In the 2008 Beijing Games, Sacramone became something of a pariah for the U.S. Olympic team. That's not to say she was alienated by her teammates, but there was fan-related venom directed her way after she lost her balance and fell twice in the team final.
The point deductions led to Team USA finishing second, behind the Chinese squad. You could see the pain and heartache on Sacramone's face as the results were being announced and the medals were being placed around everyone's neck.
Winning a silver medal at an Olympic Games is nothing to be ashamed of. There are over seven billion people who would love to say they won a silver medal. But because of those mistakes, she was desperately seeking some kind of redemption this time around.
To be fair, it is not like Sacramone was a sure thing to make the team. She suffered a torn Achilles late last year and had to go through surgery and rehab in a short amount of time just to be able to make it to the trials.
It says a lot about Sacramone's resolve and determination that she was able to make it to this point. She deserves to be praised for getting as far as she did, when a lot of athletes might not have been able to get here.
Sadly, that is where the journey ends.
We are all suckers for a great redemption, and Sacramone's story would have been so easy to put together. She could have been the darling of the American team. But it just wasn't meant to be, which is a shame. You never want to see anyone go out on the Olympic stage the way she did four years ago.