“It’s the Olympic Games,” he said. “It would have taken wild horses to drag her out of here.”
He’s almost certainly right. Wieber competes with an intensity few in the world can match. Though she’s not the most elegant gymnast out there, she overcomes it with power and precision.
Both were lacking in critical moments during the games. She sailed out of bounds on floor at the end of qualifying, giving Raisman just enough room to slip by and knock her best bud out of the finals.
It was more of the same on Tuesday. In a competition where every tenth counts, Wieber let precious points slip away with the kind of mistakes she’s avoided during her rise to the top. U.S. women’s team coordinator Martha Karolyi praised Wieber for her toughness but allowed the cutback in training almost certainly affected her confidence.
“If you have a little problem you have to work hard to do the same things you do at other times easily,” Karolyi said. “But she showed her strong character. She really tried her best.”
Signs of trouble, however, popped up at trials in San Jose earlier this summer. Dealing with a sore right heel,Wieber watched Douglas reach the top of the podium, giving Wieber her first official loss in a meet in three years.
Still, a showdown was expected in London. It never happened, Douglas winning by a technical knockout whenWieber didn’t make the finals.
Despite the disappointment, Wieber gets to go home with the one medal that’s been the program’s mission for 16 years. Things could be worse.
Besides, there’s still a chance Wieber could keep going. She begins her senior year of high school in the fall and is almost certain to compete through the world championships in Belgium next year. After that, if she stays healthy and in shape, the 2016 Games are not out of the question.
“Not fulfilling her dreams here might add a little fuel to the fire,” Geddert said. “A lot of those kids, they’re all cut from the same cloth. They all get a little bit hungry when they don’t achieve what they want to get done.”
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