Ksenia Afanasyeva’s a Russian gymnast, was the reigning world champion for the floor exercise. She delivered a strong performance on Tuesday, until she crashed on her knees on her final pass. The mistake devastated her teammates, who were visibly shocked and upset.
You can see the crash in the video (scroll down) at this site . Jump right to 1:30 if you are short on time.
Amazing what these children can do. Some are not even 16. Ksenia is 20 now, and competed in the 2008 Olympics. They’ve been practicing for years, hundreds or thousands of hours. And it all comes down to one fall at the end of a masterful performance. Medals based on thousandths of a point or second. I know, I know…these are not ordinary athletes. Forgive me…but this is such a fabulous photo, even if the people are responding to a surprising set back.
Incidentally, Ksenia earned a 14.333 in spite of her fall. All three Americans earned 15 or over…one a 15.3. The Russian team lost to the Americans by over 5 points, so Ksenia’s fall did not cost her team the gold. Russia had to settle for the silver.