Sunday, March 14, 2010
Shannon Miller, Magnificent #1
This is Shannon Miller, the first magnificent member to talk about. But first, let's explain what the magnificent seven is to make everything clear.
The 1996 womens' artistic gymnastic team was called magnificent because of winning the first team gold medal for the U.S., which I will talk about later when we begin talking about Kerri Strug.
Shannon Miller is an Olympic medalist: 7 medals. Two gold, two silver, three bronze. If you ask me, a bronze medal is good enough! Shannon is probably one of the most well-known 1996 gymnasts. Every gymnast on the team has her story. It may not be like Kerri's story, but every girl has her story.
Small "Did You Know?" Fact: Shannon Miller has won more medals than any other U.S. Olympic gymnast.
Now, the REAL story is:
In the All-Around, Miller was sitting in 2nd place half-way through the competition with another showdown for the gold on the horizon. But her wrist was in poor shape and had only gotten worse since the Nationals, forcing her to have 2 cortisone injections. While numbing the pain, the injections failed to solve the problem and Miller was not at her most powerful. She failed to fully complete a new skill on the floor exercise, a double layout somersault, that needed a big lunge forward. Although she and her coach considered a different opening pass, she had not been able to practice her traditional opening run of a whipback through to a full twisting double pike as a hamstring injury had made it difficult for her to pike. Obviously disappointed, and in tears, she finished the night with a superb performance on the vault. Getting the only standing ovation of the night from the crowd. Miller left the All-Around despondent, but still managed a very respectable 8th place finish, making her the highest ranking American in that competition. She crashed in the vault apparatus finals, another event in which she wasn't at her best, and as the final day of Olympic gymnastics arrived, Miller had only one more shot for individual Olympic gold.
Miller went for it. That's how she won beam that day.
Wow, Shannon really did a lot for her team and the USA!