|Gabby Douglas wins Trials [Photo Credit: nbcolympics.com]|
|Jordan, Mckayla, Aly and Gabby [Photo Credit: Universal Sports]|
The Olympic team has been named. It almost brought tears to my eyes to see those girls crying tears of happiness, relief and sheer joy as they ran out onto the floor. What a long road this has been for all of them. To have worked so hard at something for so long and to finally achieve something that so few ever do is such an accomplishment. The Olympic Games truly is an impossible dream but not for these young ladies. Gabby beating World Champion Jordan is huge! They will push each other to do better and if they perform to their full potential at the Olympics it could be a 1-2 USA sweep in the All Around. They will need to hold off the formidable Russian 1-2 of Komova and Mustafina but the fact that the US has two athletes that are in serious contention for the All-Around is amazing. They are all amazing athletes and I can't wait to see them go out there and kick some Russian, Romanian and Chinese butt! If anyone can bring home Olympic team gold for the first time since 1996 it's them.
2012 Olympic Team
There were a lot of angry fans out there who didn't even want her to try. She had her chance and now it's time for the new generation they said. They hated all the coverage and air time NBC was giving her when there were plenty of other athletes far more prepared and way more in contention then her. A small part of me agrees but the other part of me says that if she or any other athlete has that burning desire to come back and give it another go they deserve that chance just like anybody else. Nastia Liukin did herself a disservice by coming back so late. Had she given herself adequate time to prepare this may have turned out very differently. She was too wishy washy about what she wanted and by the time she got serious about it and decided to come back three years had passed, the clock was ticking and she ran out of time. She either underestimated the amount of time it would take to get back into shape or was relying on some 11th hour burst of energy to get through bars. Or maybe a little bit of both. It was sad to see the 2008 Olympic Champion so unprepared at Nationals and Trials. At times it was almost painful to watch as she couldn't even complete a full bar routine. No one else could have gotten that far in the process with such weak routines. But she is Nastia and so Marta gave her a chance and I think it's a chance that she earned and a chance that she deserved. Chelsie Memmell may have deserved the same chance just to get to Nationals but that's not Nastia's fault. What you've done in the past however, will never be enough to earn your way onto an Olympic team and she knew it. Her trademark elegance and beauty was still there but the skills and execution were not. She gave her best and her best simply wasn't good enough this time but I respect and admire that she was not afraid to tarnish that perfect 2008 Olympic Champion image. That took a lot of guts. She really was chasing fools gold and even with defeat right around the corner she kept trying and hoping until the bitter end. Although she didn't make the team what she did epitomizes the courage and strength of an Olympian. She fell hard onto her stomach off of bars but through the pain she got back up and I was so glad to see her finally stand up that bar dismount and then finish strong on beam. She went out with class, dignity and to the screaming adoration of 18,000 fans just as an Olympic Champion should.