The 2012 Olympics held some great moments and some- not so great for gymnastics. I thought it would be fun to, about a year later, look back at my favorite moments for rhythmic (5) and men’s (3) and women’s (5) artistic gymnastics. I’m not that into trampoline, so I’m not ranking it. There’s a video at the end of each of the routine descriptions so you can watch it for yourself- if you can’t remember it!
5. Evgenia Kanaeva- Ribbon All Around Final
This ribbon routine is just amazing. And, of course, I had to have a Zhenya routine! Other than a little flub at the beginning, this routine was practically perfect. The ending was beautiful. Evgenia is the only gymnast who could perform to Chopin! She made it look so effortless. I really can’t describe it better than the routine itself:
4. Ganna Rizatdinova- Ball All Around Final
This is one of my all-time favorite routines. It’s so beautiful! It’s just a vision. She’s a true artist in this routine. The music is so soft and lyrical, and she just performs to it so well. It’s the most beautiful dance and has such beautiful elements. It’s like the 2013 COP is tailor made for her! This routine is just such a pleasure to watch. Unfortunately, she didn’t have her normal breathtaking ending.
3. Son Yeon Jae- Hoop All Around Final
I had to have a hoop (it’s my favorite apparatus) and I had to have a Son Yeon Jae routine! I just love her routines and her gymnastics. She is such a charming gymnast! This is a perfect routine to display her charm. It’s just so pretty- watching this routine is happiness! This routine shows off her very clean gymnastics. Her gymnastics is like rhythmics from the 80s but with modern skills!
2. Team Great Britian- 5 Balls Team Qualification
Okay, so it’s not an Italy routine- that doesn’t make it any less awesome! This is the only qualifications routine from the list. Britain’s 5 balls may be low difficulty and not have much artistry, but it’s just a fun routine to watch, especially with the British crowd! They are so excited for their gymnasts! Also, when you consider that they were almost kept out of the Olympics altogether, this is a really victorious routine. The routine itself is so much fun, along with the electric atmosphere of the crowd.
1. Liubov Charkashyna- Ribbon All Around Final
I’ll admit, 99% of the reason this routine is on this list is because of her reaction at the end. She is the happiest bronze medalist ever! After not making the finals in 2008 and missing the podium so many times before, it was wonderful that she got the Olympic bronze. The ending of it was just beautiful anyway, and then she knelt down and kissed the carpet, and it was just incredible!
Men’s Artistic Gymnastics
3. Yordan Yovchev- Rings Event Final
Sure, he came in seventh, but he came in seventh at 39 years old at his SIXTH Olympics! This man is just incredible! Even though he didn’t get a medal, it was still a historic and landmark performance in gymnastics history! How many times have you ever seen a gymnast in a final with gray hair? He was one of the greatest.
Sorry, I couldn’t find a video, so here’s link
2. Great Britain Silver Medal- Team Final
Go Great Britain! This was so exciting when they got their first medal in gymnastics in one hundred years! It was amazing to see the home team get this medal they weren’t expecting. Everyone thought the countries on the podium would be China, Japan, and the U.S., but Britain was able to get this surprise bronze in their country. It was such an exciting moment for Britons everywhere!
Team GB’s highest-scoring routine of the TF
1. Epke Zonderland- High Bar Event Final
This was one mind-blowing routine! He opened it with three connected release moves- and they weren’t just three Tkatchevs, either. Those were some incredibly difficult moves! He really is the Flying Dutchman. This routine has the highest D score EVER and it was just incredible! It’s no wonder he was able to beast all three medalists from Beijing!
Women’s Artistic Gymnastics
5. Oksana Chusovitina- Vault Event Final
Like Yordan Yovchev, this was Oksana’s SIXTH Olympics! She was 37. This was another landmark performance in gymnastics. She was competing in her first world championships before any of the girls on the US team was born! This was an incredible ending to her incredible career! And seriously, with the performances of Maroney and Paseka, I’m wondering how it was she ended off the podium.
Again, I couldn’t find a finals video, so here’s link
4. Ksenia Afanasyeva- Beam Team Final
This routine was fantastic. However, this was not only fantastic in the sense of her standalone routine. Beam was where Russia began to, bluntly, fall apart in the team final. Ksenia was the anchor after Mustafina’s and Komova’s sub-standard routines. That could have stressed another gymnast. Ksenia, however, put out one of Russia’s best routines of the team final. Her TF beam routine actually went with the running floor music. Just think about that. She was able to do her beam routine to the music.
Again, I couldn’t find the TF video, so here’s link
3. Beth Tweddle- Uneven Bars Final
This is another Liubov-type placement. At least 25% of the reason this routine is the midway point on the list is because I firmly believe she should have gotten a medal in Beijing instead of our silver medalist (I honestly disagree with every place on that podium.) Here, she finally got that Olympic bars medal she’s always deserved! Not to mention that it’s her ever-exciting Beth UB style.
2. McKayla Maroney- Vault Team Final
This was practically perfect in every way. We all knew McKayla had the best Amanar, this proved it beyond a shadow of a doubt. This was just the best. It got the highest WAG score of the Olympics. I’m just going to shut up now so you can watch the video.
So what could beat McKayla’s TF Amanar?
1. Jordyn Wieber- Floor Team Final
This routine was AMAZING! Of course, the qualification round was not the kindest to Jordyn, ending up out of the AA final due to the idiotic 2-per rule. Nobody knew how that would affect the team final. After her vault, it was clear she had shaken it off. Her floor was the ultimate triumphal performance. At first, she looked super intense, but after her first pass, she was smiling brighter than she ever has! Not to mention her stuck double-double! I also love the way she performs to the music. This was the ultimate redemption gymnastics moment in the Olympics, which is why it is my favorite.
So, what were your favorite Gymnastics moments from the 2012 Olympics?