Aly Raisman bags bronze at balance beam, dominates floor exercise for gold
Jordyn Wieber had been deemed the favorite to collect most medals at Olympics, while teammate Gabby Douglas immediately established her status of America’s sweetheart following gold-medal worth all-individuals finals performance. But American team’s captain Aly Raisman had been left in the shadows as she did not flaunt her various skills with flamboyant routines like teammate Gabby Douglas and Jordyn Wieber who carried the weight of U.S.’ five gymnasts at the team finals.
Instead, Aly Raisman got her head back in the game and lived-up to her reputation of maintaining consistency owing to her steadiness.
"I felt like I had nothing to lose," Aly Raisman said after her floor exercise. "It was going to be my last memory for London, so I just wanted to make it count and enjoy it."
In a surprising turn of events, Aly Raisman made her first comeback of the day by pushing her Romanian competition Catalina Ponor, off the podium at the balance beam to gain the bronze medal. It was probably her recent success that evoked an instant oomph in Aly Raisman’s performance just an hour later as she took for the floor exercise.
Aly Raisman took a solid start, displaying masterful command over even the most difficult tumbling passes and reaching amazing heights that easily earned her a clear distinction. The Needham native end up with a version of her floor routine with a 6.5 degree of difficulty. With powerful on-the-spot landings, Aly Raisman easily earned a 9.1 on execution and out-performed the 2004 floor exercise champion Catalina Ponor at her own game.
"It definitely went better than I thought it would," Aly Raisman later said.
Aly Raisman finished knowing that her right at the floor exercise gold had been sealed with a phenomenal routine and even her coach Mihai Brestyan was jumping with excitement knowing she was dominating the competition. Aly Raisman was taken by surprise with the quality of her own routine as she mouthed a “wow” following the salute to the judges.
"It was the best routine I've ever done," Aly Raisman excitedly expressed. "My coach said it was the best routine he'd ever seen me do."
15-year-old teammate McKayla Maroney couldn’t suppress a "Whoa!" that echoed across the arena as Aly Raisman’s score was announced. Aly Raisman blew away her competition with a mighty 15.6 as Catalina Ponor could muster only a 15.2 to land gold and Russia's Aliya Mustafina earned her bronze with a score of 14.9.
None of the five gymnasts following Aly Raisman’s floor routine could match her performance. Jordyn Wieber too fell short on her routine in at the floor exercise as she came in at 7th.
Aly Raisman initially game in fourth in at the beam balance despite a sound routine with one wobble and a step on dismount but the judges awarded her 14.946 just a fraction of a point short of Catalina Ponor’s score to the great disappointment of the present crowd. Mihai Brestyan contested the decision and Aly Raisman landed a tie breaker with Catalina Ponor. But Aly Raisman’s execution laid her path to the bronze model.
Now, not only is the first U.S.women to score an Olympic gold on the floor exercise but she boast the most medals in the team, with two gold and one bronze.