Olympic Gymnastics 2012: Biggest Surprises from Thrilling Competition
Gymnastics is one of the most prestigious and watched events of the Olympic Games. With the American teams looking strong for medals, it was a big plus entering London.
However, as is the nature of sports, sometimes the unexpected happens. The Olympics highlight the surprise performances every four years.
The storylines coming out of London have been plentiful following the men's and women's gymnastics competitions. These are some of the surprising developments that took place at the Games.
United States Men's Team Fails to Medal
They entered the Olympic Games with hopes to claim gold. The collection of talent may have been the best in US men's gymnastics history. Whether it was nerves or just an unfortunate set of errors, the team had a rough go in the team competition.
John Orozco fell on his backside on the vault. It was not just Orozco's fall that cost the team. It was a collection of errors that lead to poor scores—so poor the highly touted Americans were dead last at one point.
To salvage some dignity, they dug themselves out of the hole enough to finish fifth overall. Not what they were looking for. Not what fans expected.
Jordyn Wieber Misses All-Around Finals
This was one of the biggest shocks of the Olympic Games thus far. The favorite to take individual gold failed to even make the finals. It was hard to watch. Not because we are not used to seeing athletes make mistakes or missing finals, but because you could see the pain on her face and knew how much she wanted it.
Wieber's chances to make the finals were dashed when teammate Aly Raisman scored a 15.325 after the floor routine. Olympic rules limit the countries to just two representatives in the finals. The US sent Raisman and Gabby Douglas.
Being the all-around champion would have made Wieber a U.S. gymnastics legend. Now, the "What If" game will be played for years to come.
China Wins Men's Gold
This Olympics was supposed to be a battle between the United States and Japan. When the US faltered it left the door open.
Japan, the other gold medal favorite, also had difficulties. World champion Kohei Uchimura made uncharacteristic mistakes that made it a bit easier for China to pull away from.
275.997 was the magic number for the Chinese. They claimed their second straight Olympic gold medal. China proved they are still atop the men's gymnastics world in spite of all the attention going elsewhere.
Scoring Controversy Costs the British Silver
After Uchimura's issues on the pommel horse it looked like Great Britain had claimed silver.
There was a review and his score was then revised. The alteration moved Japan to second and the British to third. Boos filled the arena. It would suffice to say that the home crowd was not pleased with what transpired.
Regardless, Britain came away with its first men's gymnastics medal in over 100 years. As time progresses, it will heal the wound and they will be proud of what their men accomplished. It was a good day for Great Britain.
USA Women Run Away with Gold
There is nothing surprising about the USA winning gold. What was surprising was the manner in which they did it.
No one came close.
They scored a whopping 183.596 points. How close was second place? Russia posted a score of 178.530. Five points away from the Americans.
The margin of victory was phenomenal. Not only does that showcase the power and precision of the American women, but it also showcased their poise after Wieber's disappointment took an emotional toll on the team.
They were first in every event except the uneven bars, where they placed third. It was a stunning performance that will live on in U.S. gymnastics history.
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