Many sports fans have already seen the U.S. women's gymnastics team dominate the field and win the team gold at the Olympic Games in Rio earlier today. The broadcast will be on prime time on Tuesday night on NBC sports. It is much more satisfying for real gymnastics fans to watch the programming on line as the television coverage is always so inferior. There's a great article in the New Yorker that explains what's lacking and how coverage can improve in the future.
The 'Final Five' as they have labeled themselves, won by an astonishing EIGHT POINTS over their silver medal competitors from Russia and the third place team from China. The team consists of some very impressive gymnastics resumés: returning Olympians Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman led the team along with reigning World All-Around champion Simone Biles, Uneven Bar World Champion Madison Kocian and the effervescent Laurie Hernandez who competed on three events for Team USA.
For a detailed rundown of the events of today, click here.
How can you tell how great the team is with the more complicated scoring?
Where'd the 10 go? The 10 is now, the score on the right. which reflect the deductions from 10.0. and it is rare to receive a score of 9.0 or better on the total deductions. The score on the left is the difficulty, where a score of 6 or higher is pretty great. A total score, for both men and women, is as follows: a high 14 is great. A 15 is super awesome and a 16 is god-like.
To put it in perspective how superior the U.S. was today and Sunday, when they won by 10 points, ten out of the twelve scores we counted were over 15, the exceptions being Biles 14.8 on ub and Hernandez with a 14.833 on FX. Those scores would be considered outstanding as the top scores for other countries. Our two highest scores were Madison Kocian with a 15.966 on bars while Biles had a 15.933 on her powerful vault were as insanely close to unimaginable perfection as possible. Really amazing performances from gymnasts who are much more well-rounded and competent than their competitors from other nations.
Most teams are lucky to achieve even one 15 on each event, the only exception are the Russian women on Uneven Bars where they are comparable to the United States. Our top score today was almost a 16 which is way harder to achieve than the 10.0 of years past. Gymnastics keeps advancing, as equipment design is perfected, techniques are improved and difficulty requirements are greatly increased, the sport becomes more physically demanding than years past, where a gymnast could have a weakness and still be a top gymnast.
An unfortunate problem with gymnastics: it's getting harder and harder to be a gymnast and then the FIG (Federacion Internacional de Gimnastique) made the rules different for 2020 as there will only be four gymnasts representing each country; making the Olympic club far more exclusive than in years past when it was SEVEN gymnasts. I don't understand this change at all.