There is no event in gymnastics more difficult than the pommel horse. It’s the safest event for the men — even if you fall off, it’s almost impossible to hurt yourself badly. So you might think that male gymnasts would breathe a sigh of relief when they come to this event. But they don’t. It’s an anxiety-filled event, because the slightest imbalance can lead to what Tim Daggett calls “disaster.”
Like the high bar, it’s also one of those events where you can have multiple falls. It’s all too easy to fall off, jump back up, and fall off again. Or even if you don’t fall off, sometimes if you find yourself off balance it feels impossible to regain your balance throughout the whole routine.
This was a brutal event for the men’s team. I don’t want to say that their chances are over already — it depends on whether other teams make lots of mistakes, and gymnasts will remember when Paul Hamm got back in the gold medal hunt when other top gymnasts made mistakes in 2004. But it’s close. Right now they’re not thinking about the gold anymore. This had been touted as the first team that had the potential to win the gold for America since 1984 — which would have made them the first team to win the gold in a fully contested Olympic Games. But now they’ve just got to be hoping to make the medals stand.
Danell Leyva had a 13.2.
A 14.5 for Sam Mikulak.
A 12.733 for John Orozco.
I hope the men’s gymnasts show their mettle and their character by putting these things aside and performing to the best of their ability for the rest of the night. Rig