I know that vault is a high scoring apparatus, okay? I know. But still does it seem fair to you that the Japanese guy landed and threw his body out of bands, and still gets a score in the mid-15's, and Raj has one minor hiccup at the end of a perfectly good pommel horse routine, and gets a 13? Does it?
Nevertheless, the Americans came away with a bronze metal, not too shabby considering that this is Olympics number 1 for all involved. I did feel bad for Germany, who the US just shut out. They had a great last rotation (also on pommel horse), it just wasn't quite enough. Their last guy would have had to score over a 16 in order for them to get a medal. Essentially, he would have to spin his entire body on just one pinky finger to warrant a score like that on pommel horse. But they were so close.
Jonathon Horton was the rock of the American team, with good performance after good performance. But Alexander Artemev was the star last night. Wildly inconsistent, Alexander is really good when he's good, especially on pommel horse.
I'll set the stage: It's the last rotation, the two gymnasts before him put in so-so performance, earning scores in the 12s and 13s. Yikes. Maybe USA won't get a medal at all, after such great earlier performance. Alexander is up. This is his only routine of the night, he's the last gymnast, performing the last routine, in the last rotation, and they need it to earn the bronze medal...and he totally pulls it off. Amazing, the best I've ever seen him. Awesome.
Japan won the silver, and China won the gold, which is good, because their head coach was quoted as saying he was going to throw himself off a building if China didn't win the gold.
That's why I like sports like swimming. There's no "artistic merit" taken into consideration. Aaron Peirsol swims faster than everyone else-BAM, he gets the gold medal. End of story.
Does anyone else remember watching synchronized diving ever before in NBC's coverage of the Olympics? I have no recollection of it in any other games, but in Beijing, they've spent considerable time on both the men's and women's events (I say men, but I really mean boy's events. The USA team is 17 and 19, respectively, and one of the divers from Germany is 14). It's interesting, but I'm not mature enough of a watcher to tell the difference between good and bad synchronized dives. I am, at this point, very easy to impress.