Jordyn Wieber Will Back Up World Championship with All-Around Olympic Gold
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Jordyn Wieber is going to win Olympic gold in the all-around.
There, I've said it.
While teammate Gabby Douglas has been grabbing the headlines recently (and deservedly so) after beating the U.S. favorite in the Olympic Trials, it's hard not to like Wieber.
Right now she's perfectly at home--looking determined as ever even on a simple practice routine--while practicing in London in an apparently hot gym (per a recent NYTimes.com article).
She's as tough as nails. She's as determined as they come. She's as prepared as you're going to see. Her face seems to be permanently etched in rock to resemble Chuck Norris' glare for eternity (does she even smile?).
She's Tom Brady--reliable, consistent, a conductor in control of everything--while Douglas is Cam Newton--the up-and-comer, different, unique.
She's Roy Halladay--intensely focused, searching for perfection, unwilling to quit--while Douglas is Brian Wilson--emotional, always having fun, always smiling.
And that's not taking anything away from Douglas.
But enough with the comparisons.
Wieber has been building up to this moment for the past four years, starting with her all-around victory in the 2009 American Cup. She isn't a suddenly rising talent. She has been training and competing for this moment every single day for four years, as if she was always meant to be here.
She's consistent across the board, averaging right around 15.0 on the uneven bars, beam and floor (with a 15.81 on vault) the past two years.
Where she struggled in 2011 (mainly floor and bars) she has worked diligently to improve. Her vault, uneven bar and floor exercise scores are all up from 2011 to 2012, the only exception being beam which dipped from 15.07 to 14.88.
Her highest scores this year in each event are 16.1 (vault), 15.35 (uneven bars), 15.7 (beam) and 15.6 (floor).
She has no legitimate weakness.
And if striving for Olympic history isn't enough to motivate an athlete, then having a teammate trailing inches behind her (if not, leading by a hair) as the gold-medal favorite has to help.
Wieber and Douglas could very well be the next Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson. Both pairs were supremely talented, favorites to medal in the all-around and Liukin and Johnson pushed each other more than anyone else.
Wieber and Douglas appear to be following that path. Wieber's season highs? I wouldn't be surprised to see at least two of them fall, simply because Wieber knows she has no choice but to post the best scores she's ever had if she wants to beat her friend and rival.
But Wieber is prepared for this. If Douglas wasn't her main threat, then someone else surely would be.
The biggest factor in Wieber's favor, however, is her track record for winning.
She's won the past two American Cup all-arounds, and is the two-time defending champion in the Visa National Championship.
Been there, done that.
Having the confidence of knowing she's won big on the biggest stages leading up to the Games is crucial.
And it's exactly why, come August 2, Wieber will be wearing gold.
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