I've been home from London for about three weeks now and I feel like I'm still coming off the high! The opportunity to cover the Olympic Games was absolutely incredible. I've had numerous people request a "behind the scenes" type blog about my experience in London, and since things have temporarily died down in the gymnastics world, I've decided to oblige!
Inside the Olympic training hall
My biggest takeaways from podium training have to be the total domination of the U.S. girls, a restored confidence in Viktoria Komova, and Superman Kohei Uchimura actually looking human for once. It was almost time for competition and I could feel the excitement building!
One totally random thing that sticks out for me from qualifications was 6-time Olympic legend Jordan Jovtchev telling us in an interview that he didn't want to make the ring finals because his body hurt and he was ready to be done. Then he casually told me, "yeah, my bicep is partially torn. Oh, and my wrist is half broken." He's amazing! Full story here.
The women's team finals was the absolute highlight of my trip. The U.S. women were the clear favorites to win, but the men kept it interesting the day prior to remind us all that anything can happen in 3-up, 3-count format!
It was so great to see Wieber lead off her team with a strong performance on vault, and then I think I actually screamed when McKayla Maroney stuck her vault. That was THE performance of this Olympic Games. The Russians put up a good fight with flawless bar routines, but seeing the young American girls who I've been covering for the past four years change their lives by becoming Olympic Champions was indescribable.
I remember the mixed zone was packed that night. It's funny to compare the amount of journalists here to a typical Visa Championships in a non-Olympic year. The changes are drastic. For me, what stands out the most from the interviews that night was the pure happiness on the faces of the entire U.S. delegation and a fascinating conversation with Martha Karolyi. Read that here.