Our USA Men's Gymnastics Olympic team had an impressive preliminary performance; while Secretary of State Kerry cheered them on. Women start tomorrow.
August 6, 2016

Look who dropped by the arena in Rio today to check out our incredibly talented USA Men's team?

Secretary of State John Kerry met up with the men's team who had a fantastic day, finishing unexpectedly in first place after their round of competition, beating Japan and the U.K., who are very strong. They ended up qualifying to team finals in second place, behind China,. This just might be a more advantageous position as the pressure isn't quite so intense as coming in to the team finals as the favorite. They are less than a tenth behind the insanely successful Chinese men (270.461 - 270.405).

The individual event finalist qualifications were perhaps, American men's best since 1984, That L.A. Olympics was mired in political retribution and half the world boycotted over a nation still wrought with political strife: Afghanistan. Thankfully, none of those issues here to distract the athletes, and our guys did a fantastic job today. Chris Brooks, the all-arounder, was steady as usual, a solid rock competitor with consistent scores on each event. He qualified to all-around finals (19th) along with Sam Mikulak (7) Each country can have a maximum of two gymnasts qualify to the all-around finals. The women compete tomorrow, and their rules are the same. The top 24 gymnasts qualify to the All-Around finals which is generally day 3 of their competition. Men and women alternate days.

In case you've seen the rounds, an unfortunate leg break on vaulting happened during USA's session, and it was pretty brutal. French gymnast and ring-medal hopeful Samit Ait Said had a short landing on a Tsukahara double tuck (maybe pike, hard to say), he didn't get enough weight on his hands, and didn't get the necessary repulsion off the vault table. Let's just say, the shin didn't really take that landing too well.

CAUTION: This video is not for the faint of heart. France's Said was brave and will obviously not finish the meet. Although you could hear the break of the leg, he didn't cry out in pain. He was applauded as he left the arena.

That awful incident didn't seem to fluster our team. We had two falls on what's traditionally our weakest event, Pommel Horse, but it was far better than the team prelims in 2012! If we can eliminate even one fall there, we could be gold medal contenders and that's no exaggeration. At this point four years ago, there was no way the U.S. could come close to beating China or Japan.

Said had surgery and is recovering, and posted this video for all his worried fans. He looks like he's in pretty good spirits, all things considered.

Special shout out to my fellow Sooner Gymnastics team coach, Mark Williams, who is also the coach of the USA Mens' team. I've seen him in action, and I know what an amazing coach he's been for decades. I can't think of a more deserving person to have this honor, let's hope they can hit their sets!

Mark Williams Sooner/USA Men's Gymnastics Coach

Finally, I learned something about my gender and my sports-viewing preferences. I had to be man-splained, much to my surprise. I'm sure there are a few other offended females out there.

That's right, women, who comprise the majority of the Olympic viewing-audience, aren't that worried about who's winning, who's not and so on and so forth. There's no need for precision broadcasting that caters to the REAL sports fan. Apparently, I don't care about live results, I am into sports for the reality show factor and the miniseries aspect. You don't say? That's what NBC marketing director John Miller decided and said so here. More on that later!

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