Quite a girl isn’t she? Well if you were watching the team women’s gymnastics in the 2008 olympics you would’ve witnessed one of the saddest tragedies in recent memory.

Even before the olympics began, people buzzed about the rivalry between the Americans and the Chinese. Even though the U.S. has taken the gold for the past few olympics, this year China assembled a dynamic new team. It was believed to be the greatest battle of gymnasts since the U.S. and Soviet days.

Fast forward to the event. After excellent performances by the Americans, and subsequent flawless performances by the Chinese, the score was almost even with the Chinese with a hair above the Americans.

The second to last event for the Americans was balance beam. Alicia was first to go on the balance beam. The balance beam was one of Alicia’s best events and she had proved her consistancy in this event in the trials and there was no doubt she was gonna give the Americans the head start they needed for their last event.

“Alicia typically has an very aggresive style, just watched her warm up.  She was attacking the beam looked extremely confident and right off the top she’ll mount the beam with a difficult mount and you can typically get an idea of how she’s feeling from that first skill

The three Americans need to be great to pass China”

Her reaction
Her reaction immediately after the fall
Her reaction immediately after the fall

As she mounted the beam, the announcers went quiet. She fell. Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin tried to hold it together. It would, however, not be enough. Sacramone fell again during the floor exercise and a demoralized Nastia and Shawn messed up on their routine.

Right after her first fall

Alicia knew in her mind that she was to blame for the women’s losing the gold to the Chinese. After years and years of landing the same mount on that same balance beam, she missed it when it counted most. To make it worse, she let her whole team down when she is the one that is supposed to be the experienced one and the most consistent. That’s without mentioning that all the folks back home and everyone in the U.S. are watching and knowing that she messed it up for the country.

After the medal ceremony, when they interviewed the team, Alicia stood in the back, hiding behind Nastia’s head, trying to avoid any questions that the reporter asked.

Now I don’t think she was to blame for the loss. But I can tell by her expressions she believed she lost it for the U.S. It was really sad seeing someone go through that kind of humiliation. How sad is it to see someone work really hard for something and not reach their goal because of an uncontrollable force? Do you know of anyone, famous or not, who this has happened to?

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