1 Aliya Mustafina wins Uneven Bars gold
This is a wonderful surprise. Aliya was definitely a favorite to win bars, with an incredibly high start value, but still, I was not quite expecting her to win. I had my money on Komova, or Tweddle. However, Musty performed incredibly well and with such confidence. I am so happy that all the extra time her injury forced her to spend on bars has paid off!
2 Brazil wins gold on rings.
Wow. Everyone had awarded the gold medal to Chen YiBing before the competition even started, and he did perform incredibly well. However Arthur Zanetti, the last man up, gave the performance of his life, and snatched the gold away from him, winning Brazil’s first medal in gymnastics, for either men or women. And it was gold! Good for him, and good for Brazil! That’s really exciting.
3 Deng Lilin wins gold on balance beam.
Yeah. No one saw that coming. No one. Certainly not Sui Lu, who cried because she had to settle for silver.
4 Viktoria Komova doesn’t win a single medal in event finals.
Ok, neither did Gabby Douglas, but that wasn’t a total surprise. Gabby’s uneven bar routine was not nearly as difficult as the top of the field, and given her struggles on balance beam in the past, I’m still surprised that she even made the event finals, honestly. (BTW, very disappointed in beam finals. Too many falls.) But Komova is the reigning World and European champion on bars, and I was surprised when she didn’t even medal! Viktoria definitely had an opportunity to medal on balance beam, but unfortunately she fell twice. Major surprise.
5 Aly Raisman leaves London as America’s most decorated gymnast of 2012.
That is a huge surprise to me. Who would have thought that the team captain for the US, the perennial team player who struggled on individual finals, would win more individual medals than her teammates? Especially in Europe, where the judges traditionally hammer poor form and lack of flexibility. Instead, she wins bronze on beam and gold on floor. Good for her!
6 Tie breaks galore.
Massive amounts of tie-breaks in this Olympics, and it’s driven most of us to distraction. I still don’t understand how they broke the tie between Musty and Aly in the AA, it was like integrative calculus! It was so disappointing after a while to see more and more athletes not medal because of tie breaks, especially when the Worlds doesn’t do that.
7 Parity, or lack thereof.
I was surprised at how much more parity there is in men’s gymnastics, compared to the women. In the women’s field, Beth Tweddle was the only gymnast to win a medal from a country that wasn’t the US, Russia, Romania, or China. However, on the men’s side, four of the golds were won by Hungary, Brazil, South Korea (go South Korea!) and the Netherlands. Strange.
8 Aliya Mustafina wins bronze on floor.
When Aliya Mustafina qualified for the floor final, I thought she had no chance at a medal. After all, she had not been able to train floor very much after tearing her ACL in April last year, and needing surgery. However, she had great execution (poor twisting aside) and won a bronze on floor, becoming the most decorated female gymnast at the games this year!
How awesome is that? 🙂
BTW, I hate her floor music. Too heavy and overly dramatic.
Here’s what I would have chosen for her. Now I know that no lyrics are allowed, but let’s just assume that lyrics were allowed, or that the Russians could edit around them.