US Gymnastics: Jordyn Wieber's Finest Hour Comes After All-Around Heartbreak
I have never seen Jordyn Wieber smile in the middle of a routine. Not until the team finals of Tuesday’s women’s gymnastics competition that is, when she knew that Team USA was more than likely the recipient of its first team gold medal since 1996.
I thought I was never going to see Wieber smile again after I watched her sob when Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas advanced to the all-around finals over her. Watching her pull it together for TV interviews was one of the most heartbreaking scenes I have ever witnessed and I was thousands of miles away.
Everybody was worried about how Wieber was going to bounce back from the huge disappointment. They didn’t know if it would affect her performance or not. National team coordinator Marta Karolyi even compared the feeling to someone dying in an interview with NBC sports:
"You try to find words because it's almost like someone passes away, and what do you say?" Karolyi said. "But the fact is the fact. She did her best and she was edged by her teammates."
Karolyi seemed pleased with Wieber’s near-flawless performance on Tuesday.
“I really was hoping that her strong will and character would kick in,” Karolyi said in an interview with the Lansing State Journal, “and I was right.”
Wieber proved to be a true champion, right from her first vault which kicked off the strong competition for the American women. It may have been the best vault she ever performed as she had massive height and kept her legs locked together. The vault was good for a 15.933 behind only her teammates McKayla Maroney and Gabby Douglas.
She performed well on bars too, which has never been her strongest event. Beam was the only apparatus where she took a break.
"I was pretty disappointed, but I had to put it together mentally, especially for this team," Wieber said in an interview with Nancy Armour of the Associated Press. "A team gold medal was also officially a goal of mine, and I had to pull myself together and move on and be stronger mentally for the team."
I was a little worried about how Wieber would execute on the floor, but she calmed my fears immediately after she rocked her first pass.
Wieber stepped out of bounds during her floor routine in Sunday’s qualifications and that may be what cost her the all-around spot. We know she’ll never make that same mistake again.
She was basically perfect in her floor routine and scored a 15.000. She kept going strong, despite distractions from the crowd which erupted for Britain’s Beth Tweedle's bars routine.
Wieber was not letting anything shake her and the crowd eventually got into the spirit, clapping in time to her techno tunes.
Yes, she’s a champion. It's an undeniable fact.
“To have this gold medal around my neck is an indescribable feeling,” Wieber said in an interview with the Lansing State Journal. “I’m the happiest person right now.”
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