With a two-day break from the artistic gymnastics competition, I've compiled a list of items that have moved me, one way or another. Perhaps you can add your own thoughts.
• Gabby Douglas: What she has done in London qualifies as the opposite of a comeback, whatever that may be. A year ago, who would have thought she would do the all-around three times in London?
You have to hand it to her. She responded with clutch routines on uneven bars and balance beam in the all-around final. What a time to have the best meet of your career.
• Liang Chow & his wife, Liwen Zhuang: Not enough credit can go to Douglas's coaches. Shortly after Gabby moved to Iowa, Chow told me how impressed he was that a 14-year-old would leave home to train at his gym. He also said she was the most talented gymnast he had ever worked with. "Fully loaded" was the term he used.
• Jordyn Wieber: So great to see her smile so wide after the team final and cheer for her teammates in the all-around final. Classy. Yes, I thought the 2-per-country rule was silly when they instituted it years ago. Why dilute the all-around competition when there are so few talented all-arounders these days? Wieber's presence in the final would have been good for the competition as well as for the fans who paid dearly for a seat. How thin was the field? The bronze medalist fell off beam.
• McKayla Maroney: Her vault in the team final was a missed opportunity for the sport to really grab a global audience. It would have scored a 10.0 in any other Code of Points. Can anyone recall what she scored? 16-something, right? Maroney should have received a perfect execution score so fans could at least say they saw a 10.0.
• Men's Floor Exercise: You know something is wrong with the rules when guys are repeatedly glancing at the scoreboard during their routine to see how much time they have left. Yikes! Three more passes in 15 seconds! Better hurry! The great minds that came up with the idea of counting 10 skills forgot to consider the odd nature of floor exercise.
• Age-old Question: Does Chinese Deng Linlin, who was a member of the 2008 Olympic team, look 20?
• The 2012 Olympic Logo: Every time I see it, I keep wondering how someone got ahold of my lower back X-rays.
• The O2 Arena Color Scheme: Two words come to mind: Pepto Bismol.
• Aliya Mustafina: Super-talented and probably a perfectionist, Mustafina still has a lot of gymnastics left in her — if coach Alexander Alexandrov is willing to put up with her. Brushing him off after her blown beam routine in the all-around final crossed the line in a coach-gymnast relationship. I don't care how mad you are.
• Leotard Colors: A faithful IG reader e-mailed and asked why the U.S. women aren't wearing red, white and blue leotards. I haven't a clue. In 1984 and 1988 they literally wore Old Glory. The Mag Seven had a toned down version of the flag, but it got to the point where the leotards were looking more like football jerseys.
• Beth Tweddle: Nice to see Tweddle qualify first for the uneven bars final. Not to take anything away from the other talented bar workers, such as He Kexin, Viktoria Komova or Aliya Mustafina, but Tweddle's routine is unique because it continuously links difficult skills that are different. There are no empty swings, really, which should be rewarded.
• Vault: A fall on vault should be penalized 2.0 (or more), not 1.0. The landing is a huge part of the vault and should be evaluated as such. I'm not sure I really want to watch Yamilet Pena in the women's vault finals. She scored a 7.833 in execution for her handspring-double front in prelims. The vault carries a 7.1 D-score. An Amanar is worth 6.5.
Let the Games continue…