2012 ferrari

Stacked Up - 2012 Olympic FX EF

This is the first post in a series I’ve decided to start that explores just how stacked the Olympic and World event finals have been in the past (I may extend it to all-around finals later, but that requires a TON more work). I won’t be doing them in order, but if there’s one you would like me to do, request it and I’ll bump it up!

NB: This will ignore team results, as much more goes into a team placing than what one can achieve on a floor routine.

To start off, we’ll have a look at the 2012 Olympic floor final, probably one of the most stacked event finals in recent years. Our top eight finalists, in order of qualifying, were:

1. Aly Raisman (USA)
2. Sandra Izbasa (ROU)
3. Vanessa Ferrari (ITA)
4. Ksenia Afanasyeva (RUS)
5. Lauren Mitchell (AUS)
6. Jordyn Wieber (USA)
7. Catalina Ponor (ROU)
8. Aliya Mustafina (RUS)

Looking at titles, it’s already clear this final was incredibly masterful and competitive on this apparatus. We had:

- The last two Olympic Champions; Ponor (2004 Athens), and Izbasa (2008 Beijing)
- The last two World Champions; Mitchell (2010 Rotterdam), and Afanasyeva (2011 Tokyo)
- Two former World all-around champions; Ferrari (2006 Aarhus), and Mustafina (2010 Rotterdam)
- The current reigning World all-around champion; Wieber (2011 Tokyo)

The only gymnast who had never held a major title on floor or in the all-around was Aly Raisman, who inevitably went on to win the Olympic title and add her name to the glowing list of finalists.

Titles aside, these eight girls had other pretty impressive credentials coming into the final. Let’s take a look:

Aly Raisman
- World bronze medallist on floor, 2011 Tokyo.

Sandra Izbasa
- World bronze medallist in the all-around, 2006 Aarhus
- Three time European floor champion, 2006 Volos, 2008 Clermont, 2011 Berlin

Vanessa Ferrari
- World bronze medallist on floor, 2006 Aarhus (she would also win a silver the year following the Olympics at the Worlds in Antwerp, Belgium)
- European floor champion, as well as all-around champion, 2007 Amsterdam (she would also win the European floor title in 2014, in Sofia)
- Two European silver medals on floor, 2006 Volos, 2009 Milan

Ksenia Afanasyeva
- European silver medallist in the all-around, 2009 Milan
With the exception of her world title and European silver medal, all of Ksenia’s greatest achievements involving her masterful floor routines would come in the years following the London Olympics, with two European titles in 2013 and 2015, as well as a World silver medal in 2015

Lauren Mitchell
- World silver medallist on floor, 2009 London
- Commonwealth Games all-around champion and floor silver medallist, 2010 Delhi

Jordyn Wieber
As far as floor exercise was concerned, Jordyn’s only major achievement was winning the World AA title the year preceding the Olympics. However, Jordyn was the American Cup champion in 2009, 2011, and 2012.

Catalina Ponor
- World silver medallist on floor, 2003 Anaheim
- European Champion on floor, 2004 Amsterdam
- European silver medallist on floor, 2012 Brussels
- European bronze medallist on floor, 2006 Volos

Aliya Mustafina
- World silver medallist on floor, 2010 Rotterdam
- Olympic bronze medallist in the all-around, 2012 London
Like her teammate, Afanasyeva, many of Mustafina’s biggest achievements concerning floor would come after the Olympic Games.

It was clear coming in that any one of these eight girls had the potential to be on the podium. Sandra Izbasa was a hot favourite for a medal, as was Afanasyeva, however both had mistakes that took them out of the running. In the end, it was Aly Raisman, the only girl not holding a major title, to reign supreme, with Catalina Ponor and Aliya Mustafina grabbing silver and bronze respectively.


Dream car park by Ben


10 Things Italians Do Better Than Anyone

“Italy is synonymous with great pasta, beautiful architecture, and a rich history of artistic traditions. According to CNN, the country and her people also hold the bragging rights to many other, often less celebrated things. Here are 10 of them.

Number 10. Cursing. It’s not so much what the words mean, but more about how they sound. Often perfectly melding the staccato and the lyrical, watching an angry Italian spout of a series of expletives is much like experiencing a spellbinding performance.

Number 9. Volcanoes. There are 10 active ones throughout Italy and among them is the one considered to be among the biggest and baddest in the world – Mount Etna. It erupted 20 times in 2013, filling the skies of Sicily with smoke, dust, and quite a light show.

Number 8. Sports Cars. Italy isn’t even in the top 20 when it comes to overall car production, but quantity isn’t how makers like Maserati and Pagani stay in business, anyway. For example, in 2012, Ferrari sold only 7 thousand cars, but brought in over 3 billion dollars.

Number 7. Caves. Italy has a lot of them, including the one that holds the Guinness World Record for being the largest accessible one. It measures nearly 28 hundred feet wide and its 500 steps can take an explorer 325 feet below the surface.

Number 6. Ever-Changing Government. Fear that another Mussolini type could ever take power again has resulted in a constitution that gives very little autonomous control to its executive branch. . Since the end of World War 2, there have been 62 governments and 38 prime ministers, all short lived.

Number 5. Beach Outings. Italy has both the most and many of the best beaches in all of Europe. They’re also warmer than those in neighboring France as the average summer temps are about 15 degrees higher.

Number 4. River Cruises. Italy is packed with UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and it so happens that a lot of them are connected by the peninsula’s network of rivers. Companies that specialize in the mode of exploration offer a variety of routes, durations, and diversions.

Number 3. Hot Baths. Italy takes their spas and the therapeutic benefits the services can provide very seriously. Some treatments are even covered by the government as means of healing.

Number 2. Flattery. While some may call the outpourings of attention leering and groping, it’s actually meant as a compliment. It’s said Italians do the same things to friends as signs of endearment.

Number 1. Desserts. Not only are Italian sweets great because they’re delicious, there’s also a lot to be said about the sheer number of them.

GabbyI’m like so proud to be competing  for Team USA! The Russian girl has like a nice salute though. God bless her after I’m done kicking her ass today.

AlyOk, I gotta focus, like only one rotation to go before bars, like you got this Aly. You’re finally better than Jordyn, its your time to shine. I just wish they’d stop calling me sturdy…

VikaOk, Jordyn is not here. And I don’t have to count Grishys scores for my medal this time. There’s no one stopping this Russian swan, it’s perfection or nothing! How could I possibly lose with that attitude?

Vanessa:I wish it was 2006 again. Back then I actually had a shot to medal and we could wear sleeveless leos for AA finals. I showed them though, you can make me wear sleeves, but you can’t make me cover up my shoulders.

DengThat coach looks like he might kill me if I fall off of beam again. I need to have an escape plan if that happens. Maybe I could hide inside one of the backpacks of the pink people and coach Chow could smuggle me out… I mean, that was the plan during team finals in Beijing in case we’d lost.

AliyaThat’s right Vika, it’s all about elegance and attitude, just how I taught you. Nah, who am I kidding, she will never be me, she’ll break under the pressure and dasvidanya gold. I might even have a shot for silver in case she has a complete meltdown.