Adversity makes you stronger.
On Day 4 of the 2012 Olympic women's gymnastics competitions, Team USA produced results that everyone and their mother were expecting: gold. The ability of the Americans to bounce back from Sunday’s shocking sequence of events makes their victory that much sweeter.
Jordyn Wieber, the winner of the 2011 World Championships, was ousted by her teammates in qualifying for the all-around finals due to a controversial rule that only allows two athletes from each country to participate. Wieber finished fourth overall, but also behind teammates Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas.
The Associated Press reported that Raisman felt horrible for Wieber, her best friend, but she stressed the need to maintain their competitive edge (via ESPN):
I was really surprised, and I feel awful because she wanted it so bad. But she should still feel proud because she's an Olympian. We have to stay calm and focused on team finals.
Wieber did exactly that.
The world champ’s versatility was on display as much as ever on Wednesday as she placed third in vault, fourth on the floor and 11th on the uneven bars. Wieber sparked the U.S. to a dominating triumph in which it outscored Russia by over five points.
The Americans placed first in three of the four events and third on the uneven bars.
2008 Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson reacted to the ladies’ triumph on Twitter.
Johnson is right.
Team USA's win marks just the second time in Olympic history in which the U.S. won gold in the team competition. The last time the Americans pulled if off: 1996.
They flew to London as favorites. If the girls returned with anything less than a team gold medal, the outcome would’ve been a disappointment. Compared to other squads the United States has sent to the Olympics in the past, the bar couldn’t have been set higher.
The five teenage girls didn’t become overwhelmed, though—they embraced the moment and rose to the occasion when it mattered most. On the grandest stage of them all, they dominated, and because of that, they’ve all become living legends.
Here are the final results for the all-around team finals.
Final Women's Gymnastics Team Final Standings
|Gold||United States (183.596)|
|6||Great Britain (170.498)|
*All Results Courtesy of NBCOlympics.com.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.
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