Jordyn Wieber's exclusion from the women's all-around finals at the 2012 Olympics was one of those moments that simultaneously breaks your heart and makes you angry.
In case you hadn't heard, Wieber finished fourth during the qualifying round. In most years, that would be good enough to make it into the finals, but because Wieber's teammates Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas finished ahead of her, she was not allowed thanks to the rule that only two representatives are allowed per country.
The pain and agony in Wieber's face was hard to watch. As hard as it will be for her to watch her teammates get their shot in the all-around finals, Wieber can't focus on what isn't and risk hurting herself in the floor exercise.
Clearly, Wieber was not feeling any disappointment on Tuesday during the team competition. She shined on the vault, was solid on the parallel bars and sealed the gold medal victory on the floor.
She even said after the event how important it was to not only be part of the team but to win a gold with her teammates.
Via The New York Times:
“I felt like I had to redeem myself, and I think I did that tonight,” she said. “But in the end, my initial goal was to be part of a team that won a gold medal. I really wanted to be a part of this.”
Should the IOC change the qualifying rules?
It was a huge statement from an incredible athlete.
Wieber could have griped about the rules throughout the Olympics, but she knew that wasn't going to do anyone any good. She may not get her individual spotlight in London, but that doesn't mean the sky is falling.
Wieber can rest easy knowing that she will have at least one gold medal to take away from these Games. She doesn't have any pressure on her to perform anymore. She is one of the newest American superstars to come out of these Olympics.
Her statement after Team USA's win, as well as her poise in the face of so much heartbreak, makes Wieber something more than just an Olympic athlete. She is a leader and a teammate.
Moving past the injustice that was her exclusion from the all-around finals is the best thing that Wieber can do. She already took care of business with Team USA. Hopefully she can keep it going in the floor exercise.