Sunday, August 12, 2012
Our Favorite Gymnasts_ Jordyn, Beth, Catalina, et al
1) Jordyn Wieber, 17, USA, (pictured center) London: Won gold in team competition. Missed out on all-around due to controversial rule that only allows two gymnasts per country in the finals. Finished seventh seventh in the floor final with a 14.500 score. In total, Wieber has 14 career medals, 11 of which are gold.
2) Beth Tweedle, 27, Great Britain/England, London: To the delight of the home crowd, Tweedle won individual bronze on uneven bars, which is considered to be her specialty. Aliya Mustafina (Russia) and He Kexin (China) won gold and silver respectively on the apparatus. Prior to the 2012 Olympics, Tweedle had won three golds at individual events at two separate world championships. In 2006, she was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
3) Catalina Ponor, 24, Romania, (pictured below): London: Won team bronze and silver on floor at the Olympics, but she was denied another bronze when judges overturned an earlier decision that had her place third ahead of American gymnast Aly Raisman, who ended up with the bronze for the balance beam instead. Prior to London: Ponor arrived at the Olympics as one of the most-decorated gymnast in competition. She helped Romania win team gold at the 2004 Athens Olympics, where she won a total of five medals, three of them gold. Ponor retired in 2007, but she came back in 2011. She has reportedly told various media outlets that she will retire for a second time after London.
4) Victoria Komova, 17, Russia. London: Komova won all-around and team silver, but she told the press she was very discouraged with her Olympic experience because mistakes in the team and all-around cost her and her teammates potential gold. Prior to London: Komova won gold on bars and silver in all-around at the 2011 Tokyo World Championships.
5) Gabby Douglas, 16, USA. London: Douglas, who is known as the Flying Squirrel in reference to Rocky the Flying Squirrel who was Bullwinkle the Moose's sidekick in a 1960s American cartoon, won both team and all-around gold at the Olympics. She is on the cover of the current issue of "People" magazine, and she will be on Corn Flakes boxes this fall.
6) Brittany Rogers, 19, Canada. London: Rogers helped Team Canada finish fifth, the country's all-time highest result in team competition. Rogers scored a 14.666 on vault and 14.500 on balance beam; she finished eighth on the beam in event competition. After London: Rogers will compete for the University of Georgia, a traditional college powerhouse which has won 10 NCAA titles. Ironically, an American athlete with her name played softball several years ago for the University of Alabama, which is UGA's main rival in gymnastics.