World Headlines
USA Gymnastics: Highs And Lows
By Ryan J. Beard
Aug 3, 2012 - 11:09:53 PM

LONDON—The USA Men and Women’s gymnastics has had its share of highs and lows in the 2012 Summer Olympics.  From Aly Raisman’s clutch floor routine to clinch the gold for team USA, to the unforgettable and heartbreaking image of Jordyn Wieber after she just missed qualifying for the Women’s All Around competition, during this Summer Olympics, gymnastics has been nerve racking, exciting, tragic, and touching.

Gymnastics kicked off with the men’s team competition.  With high hopes for returning Olympian Jonathan Horton, alongside newcomers John Orozco and Danell Leyva, many expected to see team USA on the podium.  However, despite qualifying first, the USA had far too many mistakes to earn a medal starting with an uncharacteristic fall from John Orozco on vault. 

The stone cold face of competition the world had come to know from John Orozco was brought to tears as he and his teammates realized their shot at winning a medal had slipped through their fingers.  The USA finished fifth while China won the gold once again, Japan took home the silver, and Britain slipped in for the bronze.

USA’s Women proved to be consistent.  Starting on vault, the girls wowed the crowd.  McKayla Maroney put an exclamation mark on team USA’s first event with a near perfect vault that left some of the judges with their jaws dropped.  The team continued to look strong as other competitors bobbled throughout the competition.  They went into their final event, floor with a comfortable lead, but they didn’t let up their intensity.

Jordyn Wieber, Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman all had phenomenal floor routines.  As Aly Raisman stuck her final tumbling pass, she and her teammates knew they had won the gold.  The team embraced as Jordyn Weiber smiled, and the heartbreak she had experienced after just missing qualifying for the all around competition days before, was long since forgotten.

After a minor slip up on pommel horse, Danell Leyva rallied back to take home bronze for the USA in the men’s all around competition.  USA’s Gabby Douglas was strong and consistent in the women’s all around competition and edged out Russian Victoria Komova for the gold, while Alexandra Raisman lost the bronze medal in a tiebreaker to Russian gymnast Aliya Mustafina.

Still to come in the 2012 Summer Olympics are men and women’s individual event finals.  For the USA men, Jacob Dalton will compete on floor, Samuel Mikulak on vault, and Danell Leyva alongside Jonathan Horton on horizontal bar.  For the women, Alexandra Raisman will compete on floor and beam, Jordyn Wieber will compete on floor, Mckayla Maroney will compete on vault, and Gabby Douglas will compete on uneven bars and beam.

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