American Jordyn Wieber's failure to advance to the all-around final in the women's gymnastics competition at the 2012 London Olympics is the first truly shocking moment at the Summer Games.
Wieber finished the qualifying round with a score of 60.032. That was good enough for fourth place among the field, but third-best among American competitors.
Unfortunately for Wieber, she became the latest victim of an Olympic rule that seems to stress the competition between countries more than competition between individual competitors.
Wieber's two teammates—Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas—finished with respective scores of 60.391 and 60.265 to finished second and third in qualification.
On a day when the Americans dominated, Wieber fell short thanks to a questionable system. Raisman and Douglas' quest for an all-around gold medal continues when it was supposed to be Wieber's year for glory.
The 17-year-old Dewitt, Michigan native has a storied history of excelling in the all-around competition no matter who the opposition. She won three out of four competitions she participated in this year. The Visa Championships, Pacific Rim Championships and the AT&T American Cup all saw Wieber standing atop the podium at the end.
Whenever Wieber competes in every event, she seldom finishes in anything but first place. For her to miss the final in London may be an anomaly, but it stands. Her uncharacteristically low scores allowed multiple other less-skilled athletes to advance to the medal round.
She had been touted as the cream of the crop in this year's Olympics and was supposed to match Nastia Liukin's gold medal in Beijing in 2008.
Instead, that task will be handed over to Raisman and Douglas. The duo is certainly capable of repeating the all-around gold-silver American finish that Liukin and Shawn Johnson achieved four years ago, but something is missing without Wieber.
This is a huge surprise that Wieber won't be medaling in the all-around. It's hard for many to realize because many Olympic athletes are so unknown heading into the competition, but Wieber has been a powerhouse in the sport over the last few years.
The audience will miss her, but her competition certainly won't.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!