US Olympic Gymnastics Team: Jordyn Wieber's All-Around Exclusion Helped Team

Kyle NewportFeatured ColumnistAugust 1, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31:  Mc Kayla Maroney, Jordyn Wieber, Gabrielle Douglas, Alexandra Raisman and Kyla Ross of the United States celebrate after winning the gold medal in the Artistic Gymnastics Women's Team final on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on July 31, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Much was made of Jordyn Wieber's snub from being able to compete in the individual all-around finals, but it ended up helping the American team bring home the gold.

Because only two gymnasts per country are allowed to compete in the all-around finals, Wieber found herself on the outside looking in despite finishing fourth overall. Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman will represent the Americans, even though Wieber was expected to win the gold.

The rule has since come under fire and has been criticized in the United States. It can't be changed to help Wieber, and it keeps a competitive balance in an international competition. Whether or not the rule is fair to the athletes, it brought attention to the sport.

Wieber unexpectedly saw her Olympic experience end after helping the team finish in first on Tuesday. She still has a chance to win gold on floor, but her dreams of an all-around gold are gone. Now she has to sit back and cheer on her teammates Thursday when they compete in the all-around finals.

Team USA ended up winning the gold medal, and the exclusion of Wieber certainly played a role. 


Wieber's Performance

After dealing with a difficult situation, Wieber put her troubles aside and helped her teammates capture the gold medal. 

She opened the competition for the Americans on vault and set the stage for a dominating performance. Executing one of the most difficult vaults in the world, she scored a 15.933.

At that point, the team was just getting started.

She struggled on bars, but she did well enough to give the team a boost.

In the final rotation, the team knew what they needed in order to win. Wieber was the second-to-last gymnast to go, and she all but clinched gold with her floor routine. Her score of 15.000 finished third on the team, but she made it easier on Raisman.

Needing only about an 11.000 to clinch first place, Raisman just needed to avoid any major mistakes. She not only avoided making a mistake, but she finished with the highest floor exercise score on the team.

Wieber was able to handle her emotions and compete for her country. It was a difficult task, and she handled it as best she could.



Raisman surprisingly took Wieber's spot in the individual all-around final. The twist: Raisman and Wieber are roommates.

Because the two are so close, it made for an interesting story. Their friendship allowed Wieber to get through her disappointment and help her overcome it.

This team won as a group because they get along extremely well. When they saw how devastated Wieber was on Sunday, it gave the team extra motivation to perform well on Tuesday. She now only had one chance to win a gold medal, so the team stepped up to the challenge.

While other teams faltered during the competition, the Americans were nearly perfect. The team won by a margin of 5.066, a blowout in gymnastics.

Raisman not only clinched the gold medal, but she placed first on the floor exercise.

McKayla Maroney placed first on vault, and Kyla Ross did well enough to contribute. Douglas lived up to the pre-Olympic hype by finishing first in three of the four events, and she led the team in every rotation.



The team gained a lot of attention after Wieber failed to make the individual all-around final, but they did not fold under the pressure. It was a difficult situation to be in for Wieber, so it was incredible to watch her compete under the circumstances.

It was not the Olympic experience she hoped for, but she is not going home empty-handed. Wieber's disappointment brought the team closer together, and her teammates made sure she went home with a gold medal.