The U.S. men’s gymnastics team had a disappointing competition in the team finals Monday (July 30) at the 2012 Summer Olympics. After finishing the qualifying day in the No. 1 position, they came out of the gate in the finals with what seemed to be lackluster energy. There were early mistakes and those proved too much to overcome in the extremely stacked, tightly-grouped field of teams.
After a fall on the floor exercise by Sam Mikulak, a fall by Danell Leyva and leg catch by John Orozco on the pommel horse, and a fall on the vault by Orozco (pictured above), the U.S. men found themselves in eighth place and it was just too big of a hole to dig themselves out of. They finished the meet in fifth.
Meanwhile, after the final routine by Japan on their very last apparatus featured Kohei Uchimura appearing to fall off the pommel horse during his dismount, the medals went to China, Great Britain and Ukraine. But Japan appealed the scoring, claiming Uchimura had in fact just made a sloppy dismount, but it was not a fall.
A fall awards the gymnast zero points, whereas a dismount, even a poor one, where the gymnast lands with two feet on the ground, will at least merit some points. The judges deliberated and reviewed the tape, determined Uchimura had in fact landed with both feet on the ground, and bumped his score up 0.7 points.
That margin was enough to hop the Japanese from fourth to second, bumping Great Britain to bronze and Ukraine off the podium. Ukraine was obviously sorely disappointed.
Great Britain, however, was still excited to win bronze. They haven’t medaled in men’s gymnastics in 100 years and the roar of the home crowd as they posted huge floor exercise scores to overtake second place was deafening, led by Prince William and Prince Harry, who were cheering from the crowd (they’re pictured below, awaiting the results of Japan’s appeal). So getting bumped from silver to bronze was too bad, but the British gymnasts were still thrilled to medal.