London 2012 Olympics: Fair or Not, Jordyn Wieber Needs to Move on

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London 2012 Olympics: Fair or Not,  Jordyn Wieber Needs to Move on
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

"You know what I've noticed? Nobody panics when everything goes according to plan."

- Joker, The Dark Knight

Ask yourself this question seriously: If Aly Raisman scores a 14.9 on her floor routine and finishes behind Jordyn Wieber in the all-around, does anyone make a fuss? 

Probably not, because that’s what was supposed to happen. Raisman wasn’t supposed to be in the all-around finals, so her failing to do so would not have been a big deal.

Why is there no outcry over Kyla Ross not making event finals on beam even though she finished sixth, but behind Raisman and Gabby Douglas? 

Jordyn Wieber is different. Wieber was supposed to be in the all-around. She was supposed to follow Carly Patterson and Nastia Liukin to be the third-consecutive U.S. woman to win gold.

Chaos, ensue.

Whatever your feeling is on the rule, it’s time to let go. The rule has been in place since the 2004 Games, so why is it the first time we’ve felt the rule was unfair? Simply because it’s the first time it has affected us. Has it thrown out other gymnasts from competing in the all-around final before? Of course. Were you aware three other gymnasts from Russia, China and Great Britain were also left out of the all-around? Be honest, you probably don’t care.

The important thing now is how or if Wieber puts this behind her. We’ve previously seen how one little slip in a three up three count format can ruin a country’s chance at a medal (See: Sacramone, Alicia, 2008; U.S. Men, 2012). This U.S. team is still the favorite to win gold in the team final. This team still needs Wieber to perform at her best.

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY
Wieber needs to put the team before herself, at least for the moment.

Baseball great Yogi Berra once said, “90 percent of the game is mental. The other half is physical.”

Change 90 to about 98 and you have gymnastics. Wieber needs to make sure none of this is in her head as she goes to compete for her team. She needs to keep a team-first mentality as she goes to compete. A team gold can help soften the blow of what could have been in the all-around, but her head needs to be in the right place.

The maturity needed to be shown in this situation would probably overtake an average 17-year-old girl, but as we all know Jordyn Wieber is a little more than average. She's got it in her.

 

Dan Pizzuta is a former Division I gymnast for Temple University. Follow him on Twitter @DanPizzuta for more gymnastics coverage during the Olympics.

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