Who would have thought Aly Raisman would emerge an Olympic star?!

I kind of did, actually. I can’t believe nobody noticed she existed until she – you know – beat World Champions at every turn and became an Olympic Champion. I knew she had it in her!

(Completely irrelevant, but is she getting prettier every day, or am I imagining things?!)

A big yay to USA’s Aly Raisman for going home from the Olympics with two gold medals and a bronze. Raisman, the gymnast people have been writing off for a couple of years, and who apparently “stole” a spot from a teammate. Good thing, that, as it turns out she’s better at winning medals than the others!

I do prefer more balletic gymnastics, but Aly’s Floor routine was unbelievable, and you could see her pushing herself to complete those split leaps, and grab every last execution point. So happy for her, and also for Cătălina Ponor and Aliya Mustafina. Not everything went the way I wanted, but I’m pretty satisfied.

Floor Medallists


If last night’s Uneven Bars final was the best ever, tonight’s Beam had to be the worst.

Poor Deng Linlin pulled out a fantastic routine, only to have it overshadowed by her teammate’s temper tantrum over winning silver. The (Chinese) telecast I saw showed her pulling off her silver medal no less than three times from the medal podium through the photo shoots, and then trying her best to run away from reporters.

She put her teammate – who did outperform her – in a position where she felt like she couldn’t celebrate.

Beam Medallists

And then there was the fact another score was contested, taking the bronze medal off Cătălina Ponor and handing it to Aly Raisman. I’m not going to get into whether or not that should have happened, as I’ve been a Ponor fan since back in 2003, and so probably biased. But I’m happy for Aly.

The rest of the beam final was characterised by crash and fall and fall and wobble. Not a very solid final for most! Viktoria Komova just gave up. You get to the Olympics and you give up, fall, then give up and fall again? I know this wasn’t the Olympic experience she wanted, but two silver medals is nothing to be ashamed of.

And poor two-time gold medallist Gabby Douglas seemed to just run out of steam over the last two days. Oh well. Two golds? Not too shabby!

And congratulations to the men. Couldn’t be happier with the results from their two finals tonight!

A special mention has to go to Channel Nine, for the worst Olympic coverage ever. Australian gymnast Lauren Mitchell has been hyped and hyped, and then they didn’t even show her final – choosing instead to show us Australia losing a water polo semi-final. They then showed us Lauren’s routine, and only Lauren’s, later and pretended it was live.

But as I’d already seen it on Chinese television I knew better. Hell, they couldn’t even bother showing their beloved (and boring) cycling live. Yet they pretended that was too.

The commentary is stellar too. The dickhead here said American Aly was Romanian, and that the Chinese gymnasts won all the floor medals (there weren’t even any Chinese gymnasts there!).

Aliya Mustafina wins, and Ukraine finally gets a medal in gymnastics

Pretty much everyone wrote off 2010 World Champion Aliya Mustafina of Russia after she destroyed her knee last year. Her comeback was slow, and she certainly wasn’t the star of Russia at the European Championships only weeks ago.

And then she turned up in London looking fantastic, and now has gold, silver and bronze, with one final still to go.

The Uneven Bars final last night was incredible. Almost anybody who competed deserved a medal, they were that good.

I’m also thrilled Ukraine finally got a medal (in Men’s Vault) after coming fourth in everything so far. In the Rings final, I was overjoyed for Brazilian Arthur Nabarrete Zanetti’s shock win.

What a great night at the Artistic Gymnastics, and only one more to go!