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Final Olympic Recap:Event Finals Day 3

It's all over.

Gymnastics at the Rio Olympic Games concluded on third and final day of event finals.

The last of the medals was handed out today, the last routine was performed. The Olympics are over for another four years.

The memory is still fresh, so let me recap the final day of artistic gymnastics at the Rio Olympic Games and we can relive all the gymnastics glory.



Let's start with the parallel bars final.

Danell Leyva of the US went up first and had to wait around for 20 + minutes while every other athlete performed. Danell had a solid routine. Not surprising, he is a former world champion on this event. For about four athletes performances, Danell held on to his lead with a 15.900 (6.9 D, 9.00). Following him was Russia's David Belyavsky with 15.783 (6.9 D, 8.883) and China's King of the Cheekbones, Deng Shudi with 15.766 (7.2D, 8.566).

But it was Ukraine's Oleg Verniaiev who took home the crown. He delivered a solid, clean performance with the right amount of difficulty and execution, with a 7.1 D score and an 8.941 execution score, just beating on Danell by 0.141. Belyavsky took home the bronze. After Alex Naddour took home the Bronze in pommel horse finals on Saturday, Danell had doubled the take home medal count for the Team USA guys and beat their 2012 Olympic Medal record of a grand total of 1 whole bronze in the all-around, from Danell, nonetheless.

Danell actually tripled the total for the guys when he took home another silver on high bar with a 15.500 . The lucky moons and stars towel draped around his shoulders on the sidelines and his own personal cheerleader/coach/dad, Yin Alvarez excitedly shouting his signature catch phrase "Yesssoooooooo!" with huge enthusiasm as Danell hit his high bar routine. This was sweet, sweet redemption for Danell after he fell in the team final last week.  It was the adorable German, Fabian Hambuechen who took the gold medal with a huge 15.766. (But without any glorious man cleavage) Fabi's bestie and 2012 Olympic Champion, Epke Zonderland stomach planted on a combination ala Nastia Liukin at the 2012 Olympic Trials. He came back up to finish his routine, but the mighty Dr. Epke and his Dutch surfer boy blond waves were not enough to charm the judges and he finished in seventh.  Nile Wilson snagged another medal for Great Britain with a bronze, just 0.034 behind Danell.

Sam Mikulak went up looking to get an individual medal for himself, but even with adding back difficulty and mostly clean execution, Sam barely placed out of the medals with a 15.4, just 0.066 behind Wilson. Despite not getting a medal, Sam gave a solid performance. He caught his release elements with grace and ease and he moved with beautiful consistency and execution. Despite not finishing on the medal podium, Sam can be proud that he gave that last event his all and he hit, beautifully.

For the ladies, the final event final, the floor exercise was stacked with talent.  Vanessa Ferrari, Erika Fasana, Wang Yan and Giulia Steingruber were among the competitors.  Ultimately, Simone took her fifth and final medal of this Olympic games and it was event sweeter since it was gold. Simone was the favorite to win this event and it's not hard to see why. She opens with a double layout half in half out  and for her second pass she does her eponymous skill, the double layout half out followed by an immediate stag jump. Third pass, the double double and ending with a full in. No biggie Just another day for Simone. In addition to her difficult tumbling, Simone executed beautiful, high leaps perfectly split to 180 degrees.

Aly Raisman, the 2012 Olympic floor champ took silver. She's the only one who has enough difficulty to begin to challenge Simone. Her routine is stacked with difficult tumbling, including her pike double Arabian and her first pass, the one and a half step out to double Arabian to front layout. But Aly deserves credit, not just because she came within .466 of Simone (by comparison, bronze medalist Amy Tinkler is separated from Simone by 1.033). She's improved since the 2012 Olympics. She's more refined, her form is better and her leaps are closer to 180 degrees than she was in 2012.Aly proves that a gymnast's peak is not just at sixteen, but she can keep improving past her teens into her twenties and beyond (ala Oksana Chusovitina at 41 or Daniele Hypolito at 31, Jessica Lopez at 30).

Great Britain took home their first individual women's medal of the games with young Amy Tinkler taking the bronze. A huge accomplishment since it's only the second Olympic medal for the British women in gymnastics. The first, being bar ninja Beth Tweddle's amazing bronze for the uneven bars.  Amy's difficulty came within 0.2 of Aly Raisman's 6.6 and 0.5 of Simone's 6.9. In comparison, the other finalists' difficulty fell within 6.1 - 6.3 range.  The exception, Giulia Steingruber of Switzerland who took home the bronze in vault finals yesterday, only had a 5.4 difficulty score mostly because she had multiple falls and therefore, killed her D... and her E too...

Here's something of note, almost every athlete in the final (save for Aly Raisman) had a double double in her routine. The ones that were the best landed, Amy and Simone, were awarded with medals. Vanessa Ferrari competed in her last competitive routine ever, I guess. Per the broadcast, she's retiring.  Arrivederci, Vanessa, I will miss your dramatic make-up, your... interesting leos and your ridiculous tumbling difficulty. I will, however, not miss that Ferrari leap that is (obviously) named for you since I still see it.

Final Standings -

Women's Floor Exercise
Men's Parallel Bars
Men's High bar


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