Today’s life lesson — courtesy of the International Olympic Committee — is fairly basic: Life is unfair. Some people learn that early in life. Some people learn it late in life. Some people never learn it. Sunday (July 29) was a learning opportunity for American gymnast Jordyn Wieber.
The world champion, a big favorite to win the gold, failed to reach the all-around finals. She was third among the U.S. competitors in the qualifying. Countries are limited to two gymnasts in event and all-around finals. Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas are the Americans to advance.
Wieber, 17, exited in tears and did not speak to the media.
USA Gymnastics released a comment from Wieber: “It is a bit of a disappointment. It has always been a dream of mine to compete in the all-around final of the Olympics, but I’m proud of Aly and Gabby that they reached the all-around and that I was able to help the team get to the finals. I think from the beginning we were looking very strong. It was always going to be close between the three of us doing all-around, and in the end it is what it is.”
“I’m basically devastated for her,” John Geddert, Wieber’s and the women’s team coach, said. “She has trained her entire life for this day, and to have it turn out anything less than she deserves is going to be devastating. She has waited her entire career for this. She is happy for her teammates and disappointed that she doesn’t get to move on.”
Wieber had enjoyed the spotlight in the buildup to the Games. Commercials. Sports Illustrated cover. The possibility of being on “Dancing With the Stars.” Presumably, such opportunities still exist. She has more events, more chances for redemption — or however the media want to characterize it.
The case will be made that more than two qualifiers from a given country should be allowed to compete. Injustices are part and parcel of the Olympics. Stuff happens. The reality is everyone involved knew the rules coming in, and they knew them with Wieber out.
Will the Olympics change because an American gymnast worked so hard and was destined for a medal only to have the chance denied because of some silly rule? Unlikely. Particularly because it is an Olympic rule. And the Olympic folks never make mistakes. Or never admit to them.
Hope Solo, who took a verbal swipe at television analyst/former star player Brandi Chastain via Twitter for critical comments after Saturday’s 3-0 victory against Colombia, faces no punishment from U.S. coach Pia Sundhage.
The American goalkeeper met with Sundhage and captains of the soccer team Sunday for about five minutes to discuss the matter.
“We had a conversation: If you look at the women’s national team, what do you want to see? What do you want them to hear?” Sundhage told media at the Games. “That’s where we do have a choice — as players, coaches, staff, the way we respond to certain things.
“On the field, it’s OK to make a mistake. There’s no such thing as a perfect game. And sometimes you make a mistake outside the field as well. Myself as well. I’ve regretted that I’ve said that or whatever, but at the end of the day if you have good teammates and recognize it and say something that we are proud of, then it is easier to prepare for the next game — because it’s all about the next game.”
Solo is to be available to the media on Monday. She tweeted Sunday: discipline? Ha! For what! Never even a topic! We talked about our team deserving the best!”
Somewhere, some day Hope Solo will exist in a world where soccer skills do not mean she can behave like a petulant child. Sunday apparently was not that place or that time. Too bad.
Since the arrival of first baseman Anthony Rizzo from Class AAA Iowa, the Chicago Cubs are 17-10. Which is a .630 winning percentage (assuming the arithmetically challenged stats crew at elliottharris.com is correct in that calculation). Which means — provided that the Cubs (42-58) continue to maintain such success in their final 62 games — they will win 39 more games and finish the season 81-81. Of course, if we take a smaller sample (such as using Sunday’s 4-2 victory — thanks to Rizzo’s first game-winning home run — against the visiting St. Louis Cardinals, the Cubs will win all their remaining games, Rizzo will become Most Valuable Player, the Cubs will win the National League Central with ease and in all likelihood win their first World Series since 1908.
OK, maybe all this stats stuff needs a little refinement. But Rizzo does provide hope. Not to be confused with Hope from the previous item.
Speaking of Comic Con (OK, and even if we weren’t — which we weren’t), the Chicago edition of the Wizard World event will be Aug. 9-12 at the Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill. The link to the show may be found here. The link to sports? Well, WWE wrestlers John Cena and CM Punk will be there. Oh, and look: There’s Chloe Miranda (whose photo is featured above). As if the editorial staff at elliottharris.com was going to have trouble justify running the following videos (justification around here happens to be in the eye of the beholder) of her without a sports mention:
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