Sunday, July 29, 2012

2012 London Olympics: Jordyn Wieber Deprived of Fulfilled Promise

The loss of widely the top gymnast in the world, Jordyn Wieber, is agonizing and heart-rending, and some of our American spectators expressed grief for considerably one of the best U.S. Olympic hopefuls, as I did, feeling truly sorry for a girl who was in tears after finishing third on her team in the all-around scoring.

Unable to advance further with her teammates Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman, who both sailed through qualifying, Wieber wobbled on the balance beam and stepped out of bounds on the floor exercise mat, a few uncharacteristic mistakes that cost her tremendously and eliminated her from contention. Her best friend and competitor Raisman knocked her out of the finals to end the reigning world champions fulfilled promise of trying for gold Thursday. At noontime Sunday, Wieber was not Wieber and stumbled on the biggest stage to miss out on all the fun coming up this week, disqualified sooner than later –unfitted to conquer a medal in an event that she trained and waited for her whole career.

The afternoon was anything but kind to Wieber, and she flubbed early on a vault landing by stepping out, and then broke her form during an uneven bars routine. It was bad timing for a 17-year-old girl who was expected to go out there and perform her routines, expected to go out there and break a leg, but sadly it came to a poignant end. Her personal coach, John Geddert, if no one else, knows she was greatly in pursuit of earning an Olympic gold medal and can imagine what she’s feeling after fading in an event she was favored to rock her own world. But she’s not that girly rock star, not in these games, and strangely won’t join her teammates for the challenge as the bigger story seems to be her relapse, which no one ever saw coming until it happened before their very eyes. It was mind-blowing to watch Wieber, winner of the individual all-around world championship about nine months ago, fold and botch her chances of meeting qualifications to revel in the moment of gratification.

When you prepare and spend hours practicing, the last thing you want is for an event to go to waste, particularly after staying late nights in the gym to nail down a routine. And she did just that, no doubt, but had a tremendous amount of pressure on her to sustain seminal excellence because she’s one of the most appreciated American athletes at the London Games. A lifelong wish, which wasn’t the way Wieber thought it would be, fell short and the day turned into a disheartening nightmare, one she’d like to have back if possible. But now, even if the results are not too delightful and will emotionally hurt for a while, it’s only good to move forward and place the dreadful failures behind her and take it as a learning experience.

This is what happened to a teenager who competes in her first Olympic games. So what happened is somewhat surprising but just as shocking, looking at her accomplishments in prior years. The point is, she was overzealous and jittery, not completely focused but excited to be part of the fun in London. She is a natural talent, the new attractive among gymnast stars and a representative for the U.S., but the downside is that she’s not invited to give it her best effort in the finals, which would be a perfect time to redeem herself of woes and affliction. Wieber encountered a misadventure that broke her heart, and a shaky competition wasn’t bittersweet, stopping her of the possibility to take a prestigious gold medal. The honorable prize on this day slipped away and she wiped away tears in frustration and sadness. Maybe more so, this was new to Wieber, only losing an all-round title twice to fellow Americans in both events since the 2008 season.

There was no whining nor was she making any excuses for her failures and realized she was the only one to fault, making off quickly without interviewing with reporters afterwards, distraught for disappearing and making numerous mistakes that forestalled her attempt of representing the United States as one of the best gymnasts. It’s certain she had the worst moment of her life, and everything went wrong as aspirations were taking away from Wieber. The world came crashing down indeed, and by now, she’d like to have a second chance but realize it’s far too late. The reality set in as soon as it happened, and her sheer dominance and constant training stunningly disappeared during a year she was considered the next great American gymnastics star.

Right now, setting history in a negative way to become the first world champion to not qualify for the individual all-around final, Wieber failed to advance and placed a total of 60.032. And with Douglas, who also stepped out of bounds on her floor exercise, the last of four rotations for the U.S., had an average of 60.265 points and qualified. Credit was given to captain Aly Raisman for finishing second overall that knocked off both of them, as Douglas impressively finished third. Going into the all-round, Wieber and Douglas were the two favorites, with at least one of them favored to win a medal. But looks as if Douglas is the U.S. gymnastics team only hope, if not Raisman. There’s no shortage of confidence without Wieber, but she was an antidote to heal the wounds for the most horrid farce of the Beijing Games four years ago.

Wieber had her chance and blundered. She took an enormous fall, a disastrous lapse to keep her out of conversations for mental mistakes that ruined what was supposed to be a refreshing story. But as it turned out, Wieber’s dream is deferred.