I must have missed the memo but apparently it’s a BFD that U.S. gymnast Jordyn Wieber cried. Wieber, last year’s World Champion, missed the cut and will not be able to compete in the upcoming individual all-around competition at this year’s London games. The rule states that only two athletes from each team are allowed to perform and although Wieber finished in 4th place overall finished third on the U.S. team after qualifying and hence has to watch the all-around from the sidelines. Wieber will be able to compete in tonight’s team final as well as the individual event final on the floor exercise so she still has two more shots at medals.
But now that we’re caught up let’s talk about the crying. The media has hyped up Wieber’s breakdown after finding out that her teammates Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas edged her out and kept her out of the all-around based on the narrative they created that Wieber was the favorite to win gold in London and that she and teammate Douglas were rivals.
While that may be objectively true, this is the Olympics and well, if you are new to the Games, I’m here to tell you that things don’t always go as planned. That’s the point. And that’s part of what makes the Olympics exciting.
The focus on Wiebers crying is silly. She’s 17 years old. She’s trained her entire life for the Olympics and a large part of her dream ended when she didn’t make the all-around finals.
That said it is important to point out that everyone cries at the Olympics. The raw emotion is what makes the Games so awe inspiring.
Aly Raisman cried when she found out she made it to the all-around finals. These were happy tears though so no one in the media called her a cry baby like they did Wieber.
The U.S. men’s gymnastics team cried last night when they imploded and finished out of the medals in fifth place. Here’s the top male gymnast from the U.S. John Orozco crying.
Great Britain’s Louis Smith cries after a stellar performance on the pommel horse in the men’s gymnastics qualifying round. If you look closely you can see the epic crocodile tear on his right cheek.
South Korean fencer Shin Lam cried so hard they had to remove her from the mat when she lost a controversial decision in match to meet the gold medal match.
And if you still aren’t convinced that everyone cries at the Olympics, BuzzFeed has a list of of images of Olympians crying because seriously it’s just not that unique an occurrence.
Jordyn Wieber crying just makes her someone who sacrificed much of her life and childhood to train 7 hours a day to achieve a dream and came up short by .2 of a point.
As a former gymnast who has missed the cut to make it to my share of all-around finals by .002 and .004 points two years in a row (respectively) I can relate to Wieber’s pain and my disappointment was no where near on the scale of an Olympic Games with the world watching.
And I cried. Hard. As a matter of fact thinking about missing the cut as I write this post 16 years after the fact is making me teary.
So everyone needs to lay off Jordyn Wieber, she’s earned the right to cry if she wants to.
Now watch this amazing video of Aly Raisman’s parents watching her on the uneven bars and cry with laughter. You’re welcome.