I Wish I Were In Paris

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Alicia Sacramone Is How Old?

She's supposed to be 20 years old. But Alicia Sacramone sure is acting like she's two.

Romanian upsets Johnson, Liukin in women's floor

BEIJING (AP) -- Once more, the gold medal was within Shawn Johnson's reach. Again, it was snatched away.

Two days after Nastia Liukin edged Johnson for the all-around title, Romania's Sandra Izbasa -- the very last competitor -- grabbed the floor exercise gold that was almost in the American's hands.

After Johnson went in the unenviable first spot Sunday night and saw her 15.50 stand up through six other finalists, including Liukin, only Izbasa remained. But the Romanian wowed the judges with her soaring somersaults and solid landings, earning a 15.65.

That left Johnson, the 2007 world champion, with three silver medals in Beijing, and gave Liukin, who took bronze, one of each. Not a bad haul, with more event finals to come.

Johnson, gracious as always, wore a bright smile all night, and gave several competitors big hugs when they finished their routines. She barely flinched when Izbasa's mark came up, and the 16-year-old American also had a hug for the winner.

"I just stayed calm and had a great time out there," Johnson said. I love to perform."

The biggest upset of the night came in women's vault, with China's Cheng Fei losing for the first time in three years. The gold medalist at the last three world championships landed on her knees on her second attempt, leaving the competition wide open. North Korea's Hong Un Jong stepped in with two solid vaults and clean landings to win the title -- the first gymnastics medal for her nation.

The men's event finals were -- here's a shock -- dominated by China. Zou Kai won the floor exercise and Ziao Qin took pommel horse, making the hosts 4-for-4. Add in the women's successes, and it's been a medals feast for the Chinese.

And not at all disappointing for the U.S. women, who now have five medals. Johnson and Liukin had a hand in all of them.

"After the all-around, I was excited to have made the floor finals and a bronze medal feels great," Liukin said.

Neither of them competed in vault, where Cheng followed the best effort of the night, a 16.075, with her huge error, ending up with the bronze behind Oksana Chusovitina of Germany. Cheng also fell during her floor routine, then burst into tears as her coach tried to console her on the sideline.

Chusovitina, competing for Germany for the first time but in her fifth Olympics, won silver. A native of Uzbekistan and now a German citizen, the 33-year-old Chusovitina said she "feels 18."

"Today I concentrated only on my moves, not the medals," she said. "I felt that I had a very normal performance without surprises, and that is why I got a silver medal."

American Alicia Sacramone, who has three world championships medals in vault, felt she deserved a medal, but finished fourth.

"I'm disappointed, especially since third place had a fall and I made both of mine," she said. "I can't change her score. The judges made up their minds."

Sacramone was hoping to atone for her weak performance in the team competition, when she fell off the balance beam, then struggled on floor as the United States finished second to China.

"I definitely had to pull myself together a little bit the last few days," Sacramone admitted. "I'm sure someday I'll appreciate what I did. I still have to get to that step."

Alicia Sacramone felt that she DESERVED a medal. Sorry sweetheart but that's not how it works. You don't snap your fingers and get medals handed to you.

The bronze medalist may have fallen on her knees, but Sacramone doesn't know why she got the medal. Perhaps maybe she had a more difficult vault than Sacramone. Perhaps maybe she had a higher start value. Who knows!!

I think this has more to do with her still being pissed about falling on her ass on the floor and off the beam, rather than about not getting a bronze medal. Either way, she should stop throwing a tantrum, and start acting like the adult that she's supposed to be!!

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  • At 12:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Pretty harsh critique I'd say. Sacramone was nothing but gracious to the winners, and nothing she said or did hinted of any childish illusion of entitlement. Of course she wanted a medal, this is the culmination of her career. She was disappointed, but she handled it very maturely. Now I'm just annoyed I couldn't find the video of any of tonight's vault/floor routines.

  • At 8:34 AM, Blogger ParisL0ve2 said…

    Harsh critique? Please!!

    Sacramone may have appeared to be "gracious" but she pissed and moaned about not getting a medal. She said that she DESERVED a medal. Perhaps she should have done better on her vault if she wanted that medal.

  • At 2:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What do you have against Sacramone? She was actually gracious. You are the only blog I've seen criticizing her. Most people think she "deserved" the medal.

  • At 7:03 PM, Blogger ParisL0ve2 said…

    I highly doubt that you searched every blog out there in order to declare that I'm the only blogger criticizing her. Had you actually searched, you would know that I'm not the only blogger commenting on her.

    Go check out the Fourth Medal blog. I'm not the only person commenting on her. In fact, many people have said that she should stop pissing and moaning about it because she didn't deserve the bronze.

    I don't give a shit if you agree with me or not.

    She was gracious? I would hardly call declaring that she DESERVED a medal being gracious. I would also hardly call sulking in a chair being gracious. But whatever!!

    I suppose you would also declare that Nastia Liukin's father was gracious after the high bar final last night. Never mind that he obviously was pissed that his daughter didn't get gold, and still didn't get it even after Martha Karolyi explained to him exactly why she didn't get the gold. Never mind that he was sitting in a chair sulking.

    I suppose you would also declare that Tim Daggett, the American announcer for gymnastics, was gracious despite the fact that he declared the tie breaking rule to be convoluted when it came to Nastia but then declared it to be straightforward when it came to the tie in the Men's Vault final.

  • At 2:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wow I agree 100%, especially since people seem to be forgetting that Cheng Fei's performance in the first vault was amazing, and she actually did have significant deductions in the second vault. The result was an AVERAGE score that was higher than Sacramone's.

  • At 9:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    wow good article. Finally a person who isn't blinded by the US mentality that we DESERVE every medal, just because we're from the US.

  • At 10:02 PM, OpenID nextlover said…

    Oh wow, I know this is an OLD post, but this is the first time I've heard Sacto actually talking about her "deserving" a medal. Before hearing about her comment, I thought she was pretty gracious, but now... I don't know.

    I've always wondered why she won't up her starting value... is it because she just can't do any harder vaults? I mean, her coaches should know about the new scoring system & how it could be pretty much impossible for her to medal under these new rules.

    All in all, I am pretty glad she didn't get the bronze (though it IS tough to see her trying to hold back the tears. You gotta feel for this girl).


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