Gymnastics: Women’s Qualifying and Men’s Team Final

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Its been a heartbreaking couple of days in the US gymnastics community. Heartbreaking enough that I actually shed tears last night! I suppose that itsn’t too uncommon and unheard of. I do find myself more emotional when it comes to the Olympics and gymnastics than I do my own life. Sometimes I frustrate my husband when I cry over these kinds of things. He’ll come back at me with a statement like “You cry at this but you didn’t cry when I proposed?” Haha no honey…. don’t know you gymnastics is the key to life?

First, I would like to tell NBC that their scoring system with the colors and shapes is the most stupid thing ever. Yes, the entire world knows the scoring system changed, but its not like we’re incapable of understanding it. For anyone who may not know, this is NOT part of the official gymnastics scoring system. Its something that NBC came up with on their own.

Second, the pink arena? Its making our blue leos look purple. We actually decided to be patriotic this year and wear our countries colors, and the over pinkness of the arena just kills it.

Now to discuss the gymnastics aspect of the games!

The women did AMAZING during the qualification round! They literally hit 12 for 12, with minor mistakes. No falls for us! Here are the results:

Team
1. USA – 181.863
2. Russia – 180.429
3. China – 176.637
4. Romania – 176.264

I’m so proud of the girls for going into the finals in 1st place! Its a good place to be! I’m hoping they can continue to hit all of their routines and stay mentally strong during the team finals. I personally feel that the judges were a little harsh on USA. I watched a few of the other countries on a couple apparatuses, and they weren’t nearly as clean or powerful as ours. Yet they were scoring the same or higher as we did. I’m hoping for fair scoring from here on out.

Now, here is where the nation is in a uproar. Some time ago — I want to say it was around 2004, maybe earlier, I can’t remember — the IOC (International Olympic Committee) made a rule that only two athletes per country could make the AA finals. Regardless of overall standing. Out of the three gymnasts we had compete AA at the qualifications came in 2nd, 3rd and 4th overall. Jordyn Weiber coming in 4th. Which means that because of this rule, even though she finished in the top 4, she did not qualify for the Individual AA Finals. She has been favored to take the gold at these games in the AA, so this has come has a huge shock. I, as well as the majority of the people I know, think that the IOC needs to revise this rule. USA was not the only country affected by this. I believe Russia and possibly one more country were as well. It should be the top 24 AA athletes that go to the finals. Plain and simple, regardless of nationality. How can those who medal in the AA competition later this week feel confident that they are the best if they can’t compete against the best?

Here are the women who are going to the AA and event finals:

U.S. women in individual finals (finsh in qualifications):
AA – Raisman (2nd), Douglas (3rd)
VT – Maroney (1st)
UB – Douglas (6th)
BB – Douglas (3rd), Raisman (5th)
FX – Raisman (1st), Wieber (6th)

Now onto the men! The men had a great first day of competition! They too went into the team finals in first place. But today, it all came crashing down. While I have not watched the competition yet (it won’t air here until primetime), I know that the US men had four falls today. Which was devastating for them. Here are the original final standings:

Final Team Standings
1. China – 275.997
2. Great Britain – 271.711
3. Ukraine – 271.526
4. Japan – 271.252
5. USA – 269.952
6. Russia – 269.603
7. Germany – 268.019
8. France – 265.441

However, the final standings were changed at the last minute. Japan was not awarded 4th place, but 2nd instead. Letting them walk away with the silver. Moving Great Britain to 3rd with the bronze. And the Ukraine to 4th, out of the medals completely. The judging at these games is leaving much to be desired.

I want the men to know that finishing 5th overall is still a great thing! Its not a medal, but you have the pride in knowing that you are the 5th best in the entire world! We are so proud of you. So hold your chins high, you represented your country well.

I want Jordyn Weiber to know that we all think the rule is stupid. And we all wish we could change it! You are an amazing gymnast! You know that you are among the best of the best, and a silly rule will never change that. You did a great job during the qualification round and you made us all so proud!

Opening Ceremonies! Let the games begin!

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Once every 4 years, the world is united as we come together for the Olympic games. This year, its being hosted in London. Tonight was the opening ceremonies, and I must say… it was the most interesting opening ceremonies I’ve witnessed. There were parts I loved, and parts I hated. But all in all, it kicked off the most awesome sporting event on the globe!

It started with a dramatization of London’s history. I’ll admit, I wasn’t too impressed with it. I found myself trying to follow along, and eventually I was bored. Even with the NBC commentators chiming in and explaining things, it wasn’t well presented. At the end of this first segment, they brought in the rings and they started raining fireworks! I was impressed with that! It looked awesome and made my heart swell with the familiar pride.

Next we saw London celebrate their health care system. With ours being in shambles, I found it refreshing. They love theirs so much that they had a whole performance dedicated to it! They even used real doctors and nurses. Good for them. They had a bunch of kids playing on beds, and it eventually led to a montage of British inspired fictional characters. The best being the 100-foot Voldemort they had. My Joe would’ve loved watching that! He’s a big Harry Potter buff. Speaking of Harry Potter, they even had J.K. Rowling do a very, very small reading.

I liked the hospital/kid section. It was fun and light hearted. I always like when kids get to perform. I especially like it when the kids stare directly at the cameras. There were a few of those. They were obviously told that they weren’t supposed to look at the cameras, because once they got “caught” looking, they’d immediately look away. But then they’d ALWAYS look right back, and stare. Oh kids… such a joy and hoot!

The last interesting thing for me before the Parade of Nations was the Queens royal entrance. They started with a video of Bond (Daniel Craig) escorting the Queen from the Palace, to the helicopter, and to the Olympic Stadium. Where they hoovered over the stadium and parachuted in. Granted, the queen didn’t actually jump, but it was a fun and exciting entrance for such a highly respected, political figure!

After that, things just went way downhill…. they did a montage of music. I don’t even want to go into detail because I was that turned off by it. Ok, I won’t lie. I stopped paying attention. I just know that it was annoying and I felt it was unnecessarily long.

Moving on!

The Parade of Nations! There are so many countries that I have never heard of before. Like, Djibouti. Awesome name for a country by the way. I’m not a geography wiz, so this isn’t a complete shock. But as I watched a lot of these countries march in, I was amazed at how far we’ve come just in the past few Olympics with….. technology. So many phones and cameras out by the athletes as they filmed the walk in. It was kind of a reality check to me. We, at home, are all amazed by the skill required to participate in the Olympics and are in awe of all the athletes that get to be a part of the parade. And they’re in awe too. Its a once in a lifetime opportunity for them (well, most of them). So, you go Olympic Athletes! Video tape every moment! Take a lot of mental pictures too. I’ll never have as great of footage as you do.

And can we just talk about the USA outfits. Really? Really Ralph Lauren? You thought THIS was good and appropriate for our march in wear? Yes, lets show the world that the United States is a bunch of stuck up socialites who only sail and wear berets. Whoever made the final decision on these should be fired. The Dominican Republic’s outfits looked more American than ours did. I personally think we looked like a cross between the French and flight attendants. Oh, and not to mention the uniforms were made in China. I also heard that they made the athletes pay for these awful uniforms. Simply awesome.

After the parade was over — and by the way, that was the fastest Parade of Nations I’ve ever seen! — we went on to the lighting of the torch. It started on a boat with David Beckham, and made its way into the stadium where seven young British athletes had the honor of lighting the final “big” torch. It was interesting though, just like the rest of the opening ceremony itself. They had over 200 “petals” that lifted together to form the big torch. I’m pretty sure there is a petal for every nation. As they were marching in, there was a person carrying this big brown thing for every country. If you look at the Team USA picture above, you’ll see what I mean. Once they were all lifted together, it looked really neat! I really, really hope that all those poles and petals are secure though. Makes me nervous to see over 200 individual stands lit into one big fire.

All in all, it was an ok opening ceremony. It had its moments of greatness, and its moments of “What the what?!”. It won’t be hard for Rio De Janeiro to top it in 2016.

25 weeks!

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This week, we’re 25 weeks into growing our sweet Oliver 🙂 Knowing that I only have 15 weeks left is strange. It seems so far away, and so close all at the same time. This pregnancy has flown by! I’m nearing the end of my second trimester, and it honestly feels like just a few weeks ago I started my second trimester. I was told that this trimester was the easy one. Ha! Good one, people. Maybe its been easy for those who have easy pregnancies!

I’ve decided to do something fun from here on out! I wish I had thought of this in the first place. But, for the next 15 weeks (give or take a few of course), I’ll be filling out a “questionnaire” of sorts about common questions I’ve been getting this pregnancy. It’ll be neat to look back on and see what changes and what doesn’t. The one thing I WILL NOT disclose is my weight or what I have/have not gained. While you may be interested in this detail, I’m not interested in sharing. I don’t even like telling my own husband!

 ** I am a couple days shy of 25 weeks in the belly picture. I’m using it simply because I don’t have the energy to get up and take a new one right now. And I just ate lunch. Food baby + real baby = bigger than normal baby belly **

How far along are you while writing this post? : 25 weeks and 2 days

Current cravings? : Special K Chocolatey Delight

Current aversions? : Slimy chicken

Wedding rings on or off? : On during the day, but off at night. They’re getting tighter!

How are you feeling? : Ok! I’ve had a few rough days with my hyperemesis this past week, but for the most part I’m hanging in there!

When is Oliver most active? : At night… all night long…

Newest symptom? : Difficulty breathing

Energy level? : So-so. If Oli lets me sleep at night, I’m usually ok all day!

Belly button? : Flattening out. So weird…

Mood? : Good! Mainly happy 🙂 Sometimes I get lonely though. Then I get sad 😦

This week Oliver knows his ups and downs… literally! And I can tell, since he’s been practicing going upside down and turning right side up at all hours of the night. He’s also gaining fat and hopefully growing some hair! He also finds it amusing to use my bladder as a trampoline. Normally, it’d be fine. But, since he sleeps all day, that means he jumps all night. Causing me to get up and use the restroom every 45 minutes to an hour. He had gotten back on a somewhat normal schedule where he’d sleep most of the night and be up and active during the daytime, but, we had a really big thunderstorm a few nights ago, and that changed everything. I was up because the thunder was right over the house. The dog was up because she was terrified. And Oliver was up because we were up. The loud thunder probably didn’t help. Since that night, he’s back to his night owl ways. This crazy kid is going to fit right in with this family.

Daddy-to-be gets to come home in 7 weeks! Yay! I miss him, and his silliness. He’s still working like a busy boy up in Alaska! A few days ago, he caught an alien! A real, live alien that lives in the water! Ok, so maybe its not an alien… but doesn’t that thing look just like one? Apparently its an eel. I have officially decided that eels are gross, and I’d be totally ok if I never see my husband holding one again!

Looking at this picture, I can’t help but notice that my hubby is looking good! If you don’t pay any attention to the shirt tan he’s got going on. P90X and Power 90 are being good to him 🙂 It’ll be nice to be able to workout again after Oli’s born. Its really sad how little I can do right now. Not for a lack of wanting, or being physically able to. Most days, after about 15 minutes of moving around and working out, I start contracting. So I have to stop. And with my center of gravity shifting, I’m also finding it more difficult to keep myself balanced. I had a hard time with that when I wasn’t pregnant. Now its just ridiculous. My goal for Joe and myself, is to be fit and active parents. We will achieve it!

Thats all for this weeks update! Since my little man kept me up all night playing around, this mama needs a nap! Fellow prego’s, don’t deny yourself a nap if you need one. The baby needs it 😉