Olympic Wrap Up Part 2: Why The Olympics Made My Summer

8:21 PM Arabian Punch Front 4 Comments


source


London 2012, overall, was pretty amazing. It was my first major competition as a blogger and it was fun to share it all with you.

Social Media
Social media is a big part of why the Olympics DID feel like the Olympics. Social media was a blessing and a curse all at the same time. It's great because we got to see so much of what goes on in Olympic village, continue our little ice bucket fiasco, and keep a checklist of who the athletes had met. Ryan Lochte (swimmer). Check. Carmelo Anthony (basketball). Check. Usain Bolt (track)... still in progress. We also got to see some pretty amazing tweets. Justin Timberlake tweeted Aly Raisman, Pitbull tweeted Gabby saying thanks for using my music, dale. Missy Elliott, another Virginia native, tweeted Gabby as well. Missy Elliott has a song, We Run This, on the soundtrack for our beloved movie Stick It and Dominique Dawes is featured in the music video as a coach (video here, the recognizable part at 1:12, and some clips from Stick It near the end). Maybe Gabby will be next.

The only reason I say it's a curse is because now we want more. It has only fed our addiction further. If there isn't gymnastics, we search for the instagram photos, wait for Kellogg's boxes to come to our remote parts of the USA, and watch 10 minute long videos in Russian without a translation, and wait.

Team Finals
McKayla had an AMAZING vault. That vault should definitely go down in history as one of the best vaults of all time. I really wish the judges had given her a 10. Maybe the vault didn't seem perfect to you but it seemed pretty darn close to me and many others. I also think it would have done a lot for the sport, and those who hate the open-ended code, to show that the 10 isn't dead. Perfection is possible. Kyla Ross was amazing and did exactly what the US was hoping for. She had a lovely bars set and was her usual solid self on beam. After she dismounted with her double tuck that she went to her coach, Jenny Zhang, and started crying was probably one of my favorite moments.

Canada coming in 5th. I'm not sure there are words for how thrilled I am. I was concerned for Canada with the loss of Peng Peng Lee due to injury but I didn't have to be. Kristina Vaculik did an excellent job leading the team, making her Olympic dream come true. Dominique Pegg was the only Canadian to make the all around finals and placed 15th. Ellie Black and Brittany Rogers both made vault event finals. I think the live coverage showed Victoria Moors on floor in team finals and I was just filled with joy. Her routine was amazing and I wish it could have made event finals. Canada placed the highest in their history as a team in this Olympic Games. What an amazing accomplishment!


All-Around
The AA was a good battle to the end. It really was neck and neck event after event for 1st and 2nd, then 3rd and 4th. My surprise was Sandra Izbasa. I didn't think she would make top 5 let alone try for the all around given her injuries in the past year. She proved me wrong. Jessica Lopez qualified for the 2008 Olympics and finally qualified to the all-around final this year. Unfortunately, she took out her release move on bars and lost at least .5 in D-score.

One AA finalist that I'm probably the happiest for is Marta Pihan-Kulesza. She also went to the Olympics in 2008 and qualified to the all around final in 2012. She is one that we've seen a lot on the World Cup circuit and she's very steady. She may not have the high difficulty of the Big 4 countries but she's original and pretty clean. You may know her as the girl with the braids and the glitter. Wear all the glitter and braids you want, as long as you keep doing your original gymnastics.

Another one who makes me very happy is Giulia Steingruber. We all know her as a vaulter but when I did the post on athletes competing as individuals, I realized that she's actually a pretty good all arounder. With D-scores of 6.3/5.2 on vault, 5.7 on uneven bars, 5.6 on beam, and 5.5 on floor, she's doing amazing. Her chances for a vault medal were dashed when she fell in qualifying to finish in 9th place, but she finished the all around in 14th place, just behind Great Britain's Rebecca Tunney. I also really enjoy her floor exercise with a big opening double layout and mature choreography to Carmen. Watch her floor from the Test Event here or below:


Vault
It's interesting to see the direction that vault will go in given the changes to D score. Perhaps we saw the last of Chusovitna, perhaps we did not. However, I think we saw the new face of German gymnastics or at least German vaulting. Janine Berger had the 2nd highest difficulty after McKayla Maroney with a Rudi and Tsukahara double twist and pretty decent execution. I imagine these 2 vaults will only get better and more precise with time. I hope we see more of the girl who calls Chusovitna her idol and now Olympic teammate. Also, vault is the most diverse event with 6 different countries being represented.

UB
I'm happy for Aliya and I'm happy for Beth Tweddle although that step did scare me for her medal chances. But, to be entirely honest, I am happiest for He Kexin. Her gold in 2008 was questioned because of the tie break and many were even saying that Yang Yilin deserved the gold over both He Kexin and Nastia Liukin. She has struggled a lot since then. She won bars gold at 2009 World Championships. In 2010, she fell during event finals and, therefore, didn't medal. In 2011, she fell during qualifications and wasn't even used in team finals on bars. She has traveled a rough road and overcame a growth spurt and injuries to make the Olympic Team. If you think about, He Kexin went from almost an alternate to Olympic silver medalist. That's pretty amazing to me.

Also, an honorable mention goes to Celine van Gerner of the Netherlands who placed 10th and was in 1st reserve spot. I look forward to seeing more of her and the team from the Netherlands on the international stage.

BB and FX are actually hard for me to write about because of the tie breaks. I will attempt to highlight the positive though.

BB
I'm glad Deng Linlin won. Honestly, I don't see the minutia of differences between Sui Lu and Deng Linlin's routines. It was left in the judges hands and they chose the winner. This is another amazing victory for China and gymnastics. If I had a list of 2008 Olympians to potentially make their countries' team, Deng would not have been on my list or she would have been dead last. She proved me wrong winning Chinese Nationals and leaving the Olympics as a gold medalist.

Although I'm angry that Diana Bulimar did not represent Romania in the balance beam finals, I do have to admire Larisa Iordache for competing through the pain in order to have a shot at a medal and make her country proud.

Fun fact about balance beam: the top fourteen spots after qualifications were taken by the big 4 countries - 2 from China, 4 from each USA, Russia, and Romania.

FX
I'm thrilled for Aly and I think the routine played to her strong suits and to the current code of points. I'm glad Catalina won a medal, especially after what happened on balance beam. Her routine is choreographed so well to an amazing song. Catalina Ponor, at 24 years old (now 25), has such a maturity and air around her that adds to her performance. Aliya was a shocking medalist for me. I thought that she would not make floor finals due to her knee injury. She has proved me wrong.

Fun fact about floor: floor and vault were the only 2 events that did not have to use the 2 per country rule. Honorable mention to Lauren Mitchell of Australia who competed on an injury and still performed well despite it.

So, the Olympics are over and now we wait.

Read Olympic Wrap-up Part 1: Why The Olympics Didn't Feel Like the Olympics

4 comments :

  1. Love this post! I got so used to social media, that I took this amazing aspect for granted. The Olympic games are all about the admiration of human achievements, which in turn spark our curiosity in the people behind the feats and accomplishments. Twitter changed the Olympic experience for the home viewer. It was like an open online buffet for the Olympic fan hungry to know more! The London games were the first to feature this "behind the scenes" look, totally unscripted, totally awesome!

    I really liked seeing Janine Berger favorably mentioned here. If I could change the COP on vault, I would reward vaulters that follow through and perform a solid, safe vault, Like Berger did in VT EF. Instead, it seems that "banking" on a high D score is an acceptable strategy, that got yamilet pena abreu to the final, and may have won bronze for Maria Paseka.

    When some people debated if Paseka and Maroney should have switched places on the podium, I could only think about how much Berger deserved to be up there.

    Loved marta pihan-kuleza's picture. what a smile :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Social Media was definitely a blessing and a curse. I felt connected to everybody watching the games. Especially since I'm the only die hard gymnastics fan in my family. The downside to it was, trying not to find out the results before you got to see it on Primetime. I made the mistake of going on Twitter the morning of AA and Congrats Gabby was trending. I was thrilled but I have to learn to stay off the computer and phone for Rio.

    ReplyDelete
  3. <a rel="dofollow">write my essay reviews</a>December 5, 2017 at 12:50 PM

    write my essay reviews

    ReplyDelete