To me, the Summer Olympics have always been synonymous with first names: Nadia. Mary Lou. Shawn. (That’s Comaneci, Retton and Johnson, for the uninitiated.) So as women’s gymnastics took center stage on Day 2 of NBC’s prime time coverage, I couldn’t wait to go ga-ga over the mind-bending array of flips, twists and rotations.
What I wasn’t prepared for was the heartbreak, joy and torrent of tears that came to define the qualification round, as defending world champion Jordyn Wieber -– one of the big favorites for the Gold –- missed making the Women’s Gymnastics All-Around Finals.
Despite the fact that she suffered no major stumbles, Wieber finished as only the third-ranked American (behind teammates Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas), and countries are limited to just two gymnasts in the All-Around finals. Seeing the 17-year-old Wieber dissolve into tears of disbelief and disappointment (while Raisman simultaneously burst into tears of happiness) as she left the O2 Arena was heartwrenching stuff. For my money, this was the indelible moment of Day 2.
On the upside, Wieber will join the phenomenal American women and go for the Gold in the team finals on Tuesday. So keep your chin up, girl!
What was your favorite moment of Day 2? Was it U.S. swimmer Dana Vollmer’s thrilling, world record setting win the 100-meter butterfly? Or what about French swimmer Yannick Agnel catching Ryan Lochte at the wire to give France the Gold in the 4×100-meter freestyle relay? Leave your comments below! –Mitch Rustad