Last night, the Olympics reminded us that gymnasts are as close to superhuman as athletes get. Shawn Johnson, Nastia Liukin, Koko Tsurumi (Japan), Gabriela Dragoi (Romania), and Anna Pavlova (Russia) continuously defied both gravity and mortality as their heads came within inches of smacking the beam. While you’d assume the images after the jump precede a crash, nine out of 10 (the exception being when Tsurumi fell) were seconds before a solid landing. Prepare to be awed. [Photos: Getty Images]
American viewers of the women’s Olympic uneven bar finals yesterday were treated to some great performances. All-around gold medal winner Nastia Liukin (pictured far left) turned in a first-place routine that stunned the crowd and, numerically, should have won her the gold – she and Chinese gymnast He Kexin (center) both scored 16.725.
But due to an Olympic rule that took effect after the Athens games, ultimately Liukin was denied the gold because one judge, Australia’s Helen Colagiuri, scored her routine three-tenths of a point lower than He’s. Liukin has remained gracious despite the disappointment, saying: “Scoring is scoring, and that’s our sport. … That’s what we’ve been going through our whole lives and we just have to accept that.”
But after watching her near-flawless routine, it leaves us wondering, what gives, Helen Colagiuri? [Photo: Getty Images]
American gymnast Nastia Liukin shows off one of her gold medal winning moves last night in Beijing, China. [Photo: Getty Image]