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IG Online Interview: Jordyn Wieber
(11 votes, average 4.27 out of 5)

As the reigning world all-around champion and the focus of much of the media attention leading into the 2012 Olympic Games, Jordyn Wieber had to deal with more pressure and expectation than perhaps any other member of the U.S. women's gymnastics team.

Despite the fact that she placed fourth overall during the team preliminaries, Wieber did not advance to the all-around final because of the much debated rule which allows only the top two gymnasts per country to compete for one of the most coveted titles in our sport.

Rather than crumbling from the weight of that stinging disappointment, Wieber showed her resolve by excelling during the team finals and as a strong member of the first American gymnastics team to win the Olympic gold medal outside of the United States.

The Michigan native is healing from a stress fracture diagnosed after her performances in London, but is set to star in the Kellogg's Tour of Gymnastics Champions that kicks off Saturday in San Jose.

During this IG Online interview, Wieber reflects on her London experiences and talk about what has allowed her to maintain such a positive attitude, despite the fact that the 2012 Olympics did not go quite as she had anticipated.


IG: The "Fierce Five" seem like an incredibly close-knit group of friends. In what ways did the closeness of this group help or contribute to the collective success of the team on the competition floor?


Wieber during the floor final in the 2012 Olympics

JW: I think the fact that the five of us are close friends definitely played a huge role in our success. There were no distractions related to competitiveness or jealousy that would keep us from performing to the best of our abilities. I think we will always be close after sharing such a huge accomplishment.

IG: When did you begin to experience significant pain in your leg which, upon your return to the United States, was diagnosed as a stress fracture?

JW: My leg started bothering me before we left for London. It started as a heel bruise and then progressed up to my shin in my right leg. While I'm not using this as an excuse in any way, it did affect my training. I could block out the pain for competition, but it was much harder to do this during longer training periods. I can say that I was not at 100 percent during the Games.

IG: While in London, did the pain ever get to the point where you considered watering down some of your skills, particularly on floor and vault?

JW: I did have to scale down my training and hard landings during the Games to preserve my leg for competition. I never considered changing anything for competition.

IG: Were you able to draw from any prior experiences in your gymnastics career to help you regroup so quickly?

JW: I knew that the one thing that would make my Olympic experience better was to be there for my team and win the team gold. One of the benefits of being an elite gymnast for so long is the practice I've had at staying strong mentally. I had to draw upon my experiences of having to pull myself back into the game – like after falling on bars at the [2011] American Cup, and having a form break on bars at the [2011] Worlds and needing to hit my beam on the next event. Those experiences made me stronger mentally.

IG: After the disappointment that you experienced two nights before during the team preliminaries, what was going through your head as you prepared to "set the table" for all that was to follow by performing the very first routine for the U.S. team in the finals?

JW: I just got into my zone and imagined myself hitting the best vault I could. I wanted to get our team off to a great start!

IG: How did the disappointment that you experienced during the team preliminaries impact the emotions you felt following the team finals?

JW: I think it made it that much sweeter to win that team gold after what I had been through at prelims. I literally went from one extreme to the other between those two meets.

IG: If you had to sum up your London 2012 experience in one word, what would it be?

JW: Surreal.

IG: What are you most excited about in terms of the tour? Do you enjoy the media attention that accompanies your status as a world champion and an Olympic gold medalist?

JW: I am excited for the whole experience of touring and performing. It will be so great to be in front of so many fans that provided us with so much support during the past few months.

I like the media attention for the most part. Sometimes it's a bit overwhelming, if I'm tired or something. But I know that it's an honor to be in this position.

IG: How has your hometown of DeWitt reacted upon your return home from the Olympic Games? Have there been any events or celebrations in your honor?

JW: The reception I received in DeWitt when I returned was unbelievable. There were hundreds of people at the airport to greet me. When we drove down my street on the way home from the airport, the whole neighborhood was outside cheering for me (even in the rain) and shooting off fireworks. A couple of days later, I was the grand marshal in our hometown festival parade that drew thousands of people. I was happy to sign autographs after the parade. It was great to see all of the "Wieber Fever" signs up all through DeWitt, and nice messages on store signs etc.

Comments (5)add comment

Rachel T said:

0
Class act
She is a class act. She had the extra burden of all the grand expectations everyone had on her. Despite not qualifying for the all around, she supported her teammates and was grateful for the team Gold.
 
September 05, 2012
Votes: -1

Jen said:

0
Class Act!
Jordyn is such a class act! What an awesome role model for girls in general and gymnasts in particular. I'm looking forward to seeing her in 2016!
 
September 05, 2012
Votes: +6

D said:

0
Weiber
Such an inspiration and she exemplified what a Champion really is. Waiting to see what she will do in the future.
 
September 05, 2012
Votes: +3

Jeff Ford said:

0
Mature beyond her years!
Jordyn is mature beyond her years. She proved to the world that even through difficult times and adversity, she was a "Team" player through and through. Her strength and wisdom run rampant throughout the entire Weiber family. I can only hope to see Jordyn do it again in 2016!
 
September 06, 2012
Votes: +3

are said:

0
...
I think Jordyn is awesome. I'm hoping the 2012 games pushes her to the 2016 games to claim what was hers at the 2012 games. PLEASE don't get me wrong, I think Komova and Mustafina are great gymnast but, "IF" that stupid rule wasn't there I don't think Russia would have walked away with two medals. I think it would have come down to Jordyn and Gabby fighting for gold. I think she is the only gymnast able to get Gabby. I'm super excited for 2013 worlds, Wieber has something to prove.
 
September 07, 2012
Votes: +0

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