Just two days, the U.S. Men’s Gymnastics team started triumphantly at the 2012 London Olympic Games, but that changed on Monday, when they placed 5th losing out to China, who took the gold medal. Images from the event are below including the Dream Team: Jake Dalton, Jonathan Horton, Danell Leyva, Sam Mikulak and John Orozco.
For the 2012 London Olympic Games, they were known as the Dream Team, Jake Dalton, Jonathan Horton, Danell Leyva, Sam Mikulak and John Orozco saw everything quickly change as they wound up taking fifth place, well out of medal contention. John Orozco was quickly brought to tears by a vault in which he wound up landing sitting down rather than standing up. Danell Leyva cried at the end, and the only person who delivered for the U.S. Team was 2008 veteran Jonathan Horton. He hit the scores he was supposed to hit, doing his job in the team competition.
After a seeming humdrum start on the floor exercise the U.S., which had scored more points than any team in the qualification round this past Saturday, just about ended all medal hopes once its second rotation began, the pommel horse. The pressure for Olympic gold is huge, and for a team that has this much inexperience, it’s tough, but it gives them an idea of what to prepare for next time around. What they do is phenomenal, and while some may want to play armchair coach, these young adults just had a rough day in London…aside from the more experienced Horton.
With team finals, the format is very tough so that only three of the five members compete and all three scores count. There’s no room for mistakes at this point since all three scores count. In qualifications, four men perform and only three of the scores count. They placed 1st in qualifications, but they soon learned that things change quickly, and it truly looked like they had the weight of the world on them through their performances.
The men’s hopes of matching their 2008 bronze medal went away in the fourth rotation when Orozco landed his vault in on his bottom instead of his feet. When he came to the sidelines, Orozco had tears in his eyes knowing how low his score would be before the 14.600 was posted.
“It didn’t go as planned today,” said Orozco, who won U.S. nationals in May. “I can’t help but feel personally responsible because I did five events. I did the most out of everyone and I botched two of them. It hurts.”
China was like a gymnastics machine and performed incredibly and deservedly took the gold medal. Oddly, the Chinese didn’t perform so well during qualifications, but then they brought their A-game to this one, and this is the one that counts. There was a bit of controversy at the end when the last competitor, three-time world all-around champion Kohei Uchimura of Japan, finished on pommel horse, a score of 13.466 was posted. So were final standings — China first, Great Britain second, Ukraine third.
But the Japanese filed an inquiry and after about five minutes, Uchimura’s apparatus score was changed to 14.166. That bumped his team to silver and, accompanied by a large chorus of boos, the British team to bronze. The Ukraine team was even worse off — fourth. Just two days ago, China had placed sixth and on Monday they charged all the way to gold while the U.S. team did the reverse.