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:
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.
Gold Is Relative: Aly Raisman’s journey to Olympic redemption
Here it is, my final ever university assignment! I’m so pleased with how its turned out. Huge thank you to @categoricallyunsound for being essentially my editor and giving me advice on how to make it even better, couldn’t have done it without you!
So without further ado, here it is! Hope you enjoy it, and feel free to let me know what you thought (be nice though :P)
Aja Sims (born October 4th 1995) is a former level 10 gymnast, who is currently a senior at the University of Alabama, majoring in exercise science. She did her club training at Brandy Johnson’s Global Gymnastics under Kelly Pitzen and Brandy Johnson.
2012 JO All-Around, Balance Beam and Uneven Bars National Champion
2011-2012 JO National Junior Olympic Team Member
Graduated from high school early to join Alabama team in January 2014
Collegiate Achievements (to date):
Named to the President’s list her sophomore and junior years (4.0 GPA)
On this day 5 years ago, Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, Kyla Ross, and Jordyn Wieber were selected to be apart of the 2012 Olympic Gymnastics Team. The team later dubbed ‘The Fierce Five’, went on to win gold in the team event. Making them the second team from the United States to win gold in the team event. Gabby Douglas later won the All Around, McKayla Maroney won silver on the Vault, and Aly Raisman took bronze on the balance beam, and gold on the floor.
Elizabeth Price (born May 28th 1996) is a former senior international elite gymnast who is currently a junior at Stanford University, majoring in bio-mechanical engineering. She did her club training at Parkettes under Bill and Donna Strauss.