Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Pretty in Silver
On Tuesday the American men shocked the gymnastics world, winning an unexpected bronze medal in the team competition without the Hamm brothers. Wednesday night it was the American girls turn. Their expectations were far different however. The defending world champions came in to Beijing expecting a gold medal, but they fell short to the Chinese and had to accept a silver. The 2nd place finish was in large part because of two major mistakes by team captain Alicia Sacramone. At the start of her balance beam routine, her right foot did not land properly on the beam and she fell, causing huge deductions. Later in floor exercise on a tumbling pass, Sacramone fell again, leaving the Americans with little chance for a gold.
The Americans were at a disadvantage from the very start in these games, as team members Chelsea Memmel and Samantha Peszek were injured before the competition began, limiting their participation. Defending World all-around champion Shawn Johnson said the Americans were still proud of their silver medals and were not disappointed. The 16 year old cutie will compete in the individual all-around competition later this week, as will her teammate Nastia Liukin. Both will have a good chance to still bring home a gold for the Americans.