LONDON — John Geddert, Jordyn Wieber’s affable and outspoken coach, didn’t talk to the media following Wieber’s fourth-place all-around finish during women’s gymnastics prelims yesterday. He did, however, post a long statement on Facebook Monday morning:
Thanks for all the texts, tweets, emails and such. Obviously pre-lims did not go as planned but we have zero excuses. Jo had a good day (4th in the world) but was not as good as her teammates on this day. We congratulate Gabby and Aly on their remarkable performances and are extremely happy for them, their coaches, family and fans. They are both outstanding athletes and we wish them the very best in the upcoming AA finals.
We have always known the 2 per country rule, we are not crying of spilt milk, yet it makes it difficult to explain how the 4th best AA finisher, the former world champion, does not get a shot at fulfilling her dream, just because her country happens to be incredibly strong. The sting of this injustice is painful and for the record I have voiced this opinion time and time again …. (after worlds when Gabby was the victim (she place 5th AA behind 2 teammates). To penalize an athlete or country for being OUTSTANDING is not in the spirit of sport and certainly not the spirit of the Olympic Games. It is wrong and simply the trickle down effect of the entitlement generation where everybody expects/demands a piece of the pie regardless of whether or not they have earned it or not. We will not cry foul here,as the rules are the rules. BUT when the rules are so blatantly wrong and go against the grain of the intention of sport, something needs to be said. Any true fan of the sport has to see the injustice here. This is not whining and crying it is pure anger at our governing body for such idiocy. We are not the only victims of this rule but certainly the most recognizable (this time). Other countries too lost spots in the ultimate competitive event for our sport due to this political pacification rule. Ridiculous, simply ridiculous.
We will proceed ahead with heads held high. We will accept defeat with the same class and dignity as we accepted the numerous victories. Besides there is still plenty of work to be done… Team USA… has work to do on Tuesday night and Jordyn will be instrumental in the teams chances to maximize their true potential as one of the greatest teams of all time.
The U.S. women learned Sunday that there actually is such a thing as too much success, when Wieber, Gabrielle Douglas and Aly Raisman all finished in the top five in the women’s all-around. Because only the top two gymnasts per country advance to the women’s all-around final, 2011 World all-around champion Wieber, who finished with a point total slightly lower than her two teammates, will not compete in the all-around final.
The finish has sent shockwaves through the gymnastics community, which largely expected the women’s all-around to be a four-way race between Wieber, Douglas, Russia’s Viktoria Komova and Romania’s Larisa Iordache.
Raisman, who has finished fourth all-around twice at the World Championships in spite of being comparatively weak on uneven bars, was always considered one of the world’s better all-around gymnasts but was also thought of as the “third” on the U.S. team.
Your take: The two-per-country rule is in place to keep one country (like China on uneven bars) from dominating an event or individual final. But some say that it’s unfair to the gymnasts, who are often left out of finals in spite of being among the top in the world. Should this rule be changed? Please leave a comment below.
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