Every four years, women’s gymnastics at the Olympics become increasingly emotional and the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games were no exception. The four big powerhouses – Russia, USA, China, and Romania – battled their way to the top. And in the end, these women didn’t just medal, they created ever lasting memories that they will hold on to forever and we will never forget.
The 2012 Summer Olympic Games saw incredible feats of athleticism by those involved. The “Fab Five” completely dominated the team all-around competition, besting Russia with China no where to be seen. But what was strange was how after Gabby Douglas captured America’s third straight gold medal in the individual all-around, she never placed once in any singular exercise. She may have been exhausted after team and individual all-around, but what came out of Douglas was below expectations.
The United States definitely saw it’s ups and downs, especially with Jordan Wieber getting her hopes crushed not qualifying for the individual all-around, but Russia’s Victoria Komova just couldn’t get a break in any event. The Russians definitely had it rough this year, but surprisingly China never came back to defend their medals from Beijing 2008.
Aly Raisman owned this event. Her performance was stunning. Tumbling to the beat of “Hava Nagila,” Raisman absolutely poured her heart into this exercise. Giving it everything she had – in the single event, individual all-around, and team all-around – she fully deserved the gold for women’s floor exercise.
Women’s Floor Exercise: Final – Tuesday, August 7
Gold: USA – Aly Raisman 15.600
Silver: Romania – Catalina Ponor 15.200
Bronze: Russia – Aliya Mustafina 14.900
4TH: Italy – Vanessa Farrari 14.900
5TH: Australia – Lauren Mitchell 14.833
One of the biggest shockers of the Olympic Games was McKayla Maroney finishing second in the women’s vault. Nailing the vault perfectly in the team all-around – literally dropping the judges jaws – who would have expected Maroney to not place first? Perhaps her cockiness got the best of her. She has all rights to be as cocky as she was because she is damn good, but I will admit it was great to see that smirk wiped off her face. I’m all for Team USA, but sometimes we need to learn humility – isn’t that right Thor son of Odin? Her crushing defeat did spark an incredible meme.
Women’s Vault: Final – Sunday, August 5
Gold: Romania – Sandra Raluca Izbasa 15.191
Silver: USA – McKayla Maroney 15.083
Bronze: Russia –Maria Paseka 15.050
4TH: Germany – Janine Berger 15.016
5TH: Germany – Oksana Chusovitina 14.783
Mustafina can finally stop acting like she is going to cry in every event now that she earned her gold. She seriously had issues coping with loss throughout the entire games. At any moment it looked like she was going to break down and crawl up into a ball. This was the only event where USA never placed.
Women’s Uneven Bars: Final – Monday, August 6
Gold: Russia – Aliya Mustafina 16.133
Silver: China – Kexin He 15.933
Bronze: Great Britain – Elizabeth Tweddle 15.916
4TH: China – Jinnan Yao 15.766
5TH: Russia – Victoria Komova 15.666
An exercise that many believed Gabby Douglas would place in after she nailed it during the individual all-around. But beam was not her day, nor were the uneven bars. It was Aly Raisman who sprung up out of nowhere to narrowly win the bronze after Team USA asked for a re-evaluation.
(And that brings me to re-evaluations. Yes, they are definitely necessary for poorly marked scores, but the first time I saw one being issued, the Japan coach had large stacks of dollars in his hand passing it off to the judges. It was very poorly handled, and if that is the way the IOC lets exercises be re-evaluated they need to establish a better way to go about it than having everyone see coaches passing off money to them.)
Women’s Beam: Final – Tuesday, August 7
Gold: China – Linlin Degn 15.600
Silver: China – Lu Sui 15.500
Bronze: USA – Aly Raisman 15.066
4TH: Romania – Catalina Ponor 15.066
5TH: Russia – Kseniia Afanaseva 14.583
Now I may have appeared to be Gabby bashing, but that is hardly the case. She certainly earned and deserved her gold medal for the individual all-around, but I just find it shocking that she was unable to even get into the top 5 of the singular events she was up for later in the games. Gabby was absolutely stunning on floor and beam. She did very well in the uneven bars and vault too. If Victoria Komova didn’t faulter as much as she did, the story may have been written differently.
Gabrielle has now become the first African-American to win the individual all-around gold medal. She is an inspiration to many and I have no doubt she is proud of what she had accomplished in these games.
Women’s Individual All-Around: Final – Thursday, August 2
Gold: USA – Gabby Douglas 62.232
Silver: Russia – Victoria Komova 61.973
Bronze: Russia – Aliya Mustafina 59.566
4TH: USA – Aly Raisman 59.566
5TH: Romania – Sandra Raluca Izbasa 58.833
With the “Fab Five,” I don’t think the other teams had a chance this year. We never heard a peep from China, Russia kept screwing up, and Romania’s degree of difficulty couldn’t match the Americans. USA wholeheartedly deserved the gold medal in the women’s team all-around. They were a magnificent set of young women and their accomplishment will be set in Ameican history for years to come!
Women’s Team: Final – Tuesday, July 31
Gold: United States United States 183.596
Silver: Russia 178.530
Bronze: Romania 176.414
4TH: China 174.430
5TH: Canada 170.804
(Click on the images below to enlarge)
Source: London 2012