Olympic Gymnastics 2012: Jordyn Wieber Must Rebound Quickly to Help Team USA
The disappointment Jordyn Wieber felt after failing to qualify for a spot in the individual all-around competition was obvious. The American still has an important job to do in the team event, however, so she must get back to a positive mental state right away.
Wieber was widely regarded as the best gymnast on the American team heading into the trials. But she was upset there by rising star Gabby Douglas and was beat out by Aly Raisman in the qualifying stage in London, leaving the defending world champion out of the individual all-around.
It's tough to fathom how much that means to Wieber. She isn't like most other athletes in London who have multiple chances to compete for a medal in their sport's top event. She had a golden opportunity this year and let it slip away.
While Douglas and Raisman are both tremendous in their own right and are certainly deserving of their spots in the individual final, Wieber would have had a higher ceiling if she was at her peak. Unfortunately for her and the United States, she's been slightly out of form lately.
She doesn't have any time to sulk, though. Team USA is favored as a team to take home gold on Tuesday, but won't be able to accomplish that feat unless Wieber rebounds and plays a significant role in the competition.
Mental hurdles are often the most difficult ones to jump at the Olympics. After all, athletes from around the world have been training for the past four years to reach this point, so from a physical standpoint the differences are limited.
Which country will win gold?
Getting to the podium comes down to who can step up when the spotlight turns on. It's hard enough to do that with a clear mind, let alone coming off one of the biggest disappointments of your life like Wieber is right now.
That said, she has to remember there are teammates relying on her to come up big. The United States has no shortage of competition as it looks to earn the top spot. Russia, China and Romania all figure to be in the mix on Tuesday.
Wieber needs to shine in order for the United States to fend off those tough challenges. Although it's tough to turn the page at a time like this, it's necessary. Wieber is still one of the best gymnasts in the world and can prove it with a bounce-back performance.
If she can do that the United States will take home the gold.
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