2012 Olympic Gymnastics Show Sport at Height of Unpredictability

Emily Bayci@emilybayciContributor IIIAugust 1, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 01:  Marcel Nguyen of Germany competes on the vault in the Artistic Gymnastics Men's Individual All-Around final on Day 5 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on August 1, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

If you look through the pages of B/R’s Olympic coverage, it can be easy to get lost in the magnitude of Olympics predictions. New articles are constantly posted to reflect the ever-changing madness which is Olympics competition.

The 2012 Olympic gymnastics madness shows the height of the unpredictability of sports. 

That’s what we love about sports, isn’t it? How you never really know what’s going to happen until that final buzzer sounds? 

Or in gymnastics, it’s until the scores are posted on the board. As shown in the men’s team final, it’s not even over then, either.

When I’m watching the gymnastics event finals, I keep my Olympics issue of Sports Illustrated open to the medal predictions page. 

I have to mentally cross off half of their predictions. Nope, Jordyn Wieber will not be winning the all-around gold and Danell Leyva will not grab the parallel bars silver. They didn’t even make it to the finals.

All of the madness started in the men’s competition when Great Britain stunned the world and advanced to the team finals. Led by pommel horse specialist Louis Smith and all-arounders Kristian Thomas and Daniel Purvis, the Brits were elated they made it to the finals, and even more so that they stood on the podium to claim bronze.

This was after it had actually seemed as if Great Britain had won the silver. That’s what the scoreboard said at least.

It looked like Japan had the silver locked up, but after Japanese superstar Kohei Uchimura faltered on his pommel horse dismount, Japan didn’t even make the medal stand. Then it took not one, but two appeals (in which cash money had to sketchily be thrown down) for Uchimura’s score to be raised enough for Japan to win silver.

The Ukrainian men looked so upset when they realized that they had not won an Olympic medal. 

In the individual all-around finals, it seemed as if Danell Leyva had no chance of medalling. He just kept strong and thanks to the crumble of Japan’s Kazuhito Tanaka and his own phenomenal high bar routine, he claimed bronze.

Someone should make a YouTube montage of all the devastating faces gymnasts made during heartbreaking moments of the 2012 Games. John Orozco will be all over the video—as he fought back tears in the team finals and finally let them loose after botching his pommel horse during the all-around finals.

It’s hard to decide what was more insane, the men’s competitions or the women’s?

No one saw it coming when Wieber was left out of the all-around finals because of the two-gymnast-per-country rule. The frenzy that has ensued after her heartbreak has been enormous.

Then, it looked like a neck-and-neck battle between Team USA and Russia for the team final until what I am still calling "The Great Russian Floor Debacle."

It didn’t matter how strong and complex the Russian's floor routines were. The gymnasts didn’t hit them when it counted. As shown by the floodgates they let loose after missing their routines, they may never get over those misses.

It doesn’t matter how many times these gymnasts do these routines perfectly and consistently, anything can happen.

Some people thought it was weird that the American women held hands and stared at the scoreboard during the team finals. They knew they had won. It just wasn’t real yet. 

It’s hard to believe that we still have the women’s all-around and all of the individual event finals. For all we know, the craziest surprises are yet to come.