Monday, September 3, 2012

fierce five, olympic stars.

seven u.s. women's teams — gymnastics, basketball, soccer,
swimming relays, track relays, rowing & water polo —
won the gold at the summer olympics.

but the "fierce five" — the u.s. women's gymnastics team —
won the bulk of media attention. & i confess, it worked for me;
i found the 2012 gymnastics competition captivating.

the fierce five is comprised of 17yo jordyn wieber, 16yo gabrielle douglas,
16yo mckayla maroney, 18yo team captain alexandra raisman, & 15yo kyla ross.
& yes, "women's gymnastics" is rather an oxymoron.

but these young women won the team gold medal —
the first for the u.s. since 1996 & the second for the u.s. ever —
by 5.06 points over russia's silver & 7.82 points over romania's bronze.
gold defender china earned fourth place.

gabby douglas was the only team member to compete in all four events
[vault, uneven bars, balance beam, floor] during the team competition.
aly raisman was the final american to perform; she had tears in her eyes
as she completed an incredible floor routine, cinching the u.s. win.

gabby & aly also competed in the individual all-around —
jordyn, the reigning world champion, was denied, as only the top two team
members from each country are allowed into the all-around competition.

gabby douglas became the first african-american ever
to win the all-around gold; aly came in fourth place following
a tie-breaker for the bronze with russian superstar aliya mustafina.
but a tie-breaker broke the other way for aly at the individual balance-beam event.

aly's overall score originally came in beneath romania's catalina ponor,
but u.s. coach martha karolyi requested a review of aly's routine,
based upon its higher difficulty; the judges rescored, tying aly with ponor.
aly's higher execution score gave her the edge, & she took the bronze.

aly raisman also became the first american woman to win
the individual gold for floor exercise. aly, who is jewish, performed
her practically perfect routine to the hebrew folk song "hava nagila."
next spring, she'll be inducted into the national jewish sports hall of fame.

mckayla maroney, the reigning world champion in vault, aced her first
but fell on her second vault during the individual event.
the up-ender ended her 33-vault streak in competition, & earned her the silver.

during the medal ceremony, mckayla's expression briefly revealed
a scowl of disappointment; someone snapped the shot, & the image
quickly became associated with an internet meme called "mckayla is not impressed."

mckayla is not impressed with democrats' one-word slogans.

mckayla is not impressed with the republicans' ticket.

mckayla is not impressed with princess fascinators.

mckayla was surely unimpressed with the absurd social media kerfluffle
over gabby's hair. as gabby was making african-american olympic history,
african-americans were taking to twitter to kvetch about her "messy" 'do,
& its apparent overabundance of clips & gel. gabby's response?

"nothing is going to change. i'm going to wear my hair like this ...
you might as well just stop talking about it." done & done.

i still don't understand what the issue was with gabby's hair —
especially considering many of her teammates & competitors
were rocking almost the exact same style. additionally,
they're olympians — who cares what their hair looks like?

regardless of scrunchie usage, i was duly impressed with the fierce five.
way to represent, girls! & way to represent girls!

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