Jordyn Wieber was all but a lock to compete in – and potentially win – the all-around final in women’s gymnastics at the Olympic Games.
But Sunday, the first day of women’s gymnastics competition at the Games, proved to be more dramatic than Wieber, 17, may have expected.
After her routines on vault, beam, bars and floor earned what some believe to be questionably low scores, Wieber was edged out of the individual all-around final, leaving her sobbing on the competition floor. Her teammates Aly Raisman and Gabrielle Douglas qualified for the final.
The current national and world champion, Wieber herself blogged for PEOPLE just days before the Olympics began, saying, “I can’t wait for competition to start.”
“Her mental toughness, that’s what helps her succeed consistently,” 1996 gold medal-winning gymnast Dominique Moceanu told PEOPLE earlier this month. “I think she’s got a lot to offer the team and her and Gabby [Douglas] are going to be the ones striving for those all-around medals, definitely.”
But Wieber wasn’t the only one stunned by the result. Raisman, who had a stellar day, was in tears as well, and Wieber’s coach spoke out on the surprising finish. “I’m basically devastated for her,” John Geddert, told reporters after the qualification, Gymnastike.org reports.
“She has trained her entire life for this day and to have it turn out anything less than she deserves is going to be devastating. She has waited her entire career for this. She is happy for her teammates and disappointed that she doesn’t get to move on.”
Gymnastics fans were abuzz following the tearful result for Wieber, and Geddert addressed what many were thinking: that his athlete was robbed by the judges.
“That’s the lowest floor score she’s gotten … ever,” said Geddert. “And again, they gave her nothing in her floor routine that was questionable.”
Team coordinator Marta Karolyi was sympathetic to Wieber’s result, but more accepting of the outcome.
“I would be very disappointed, too,” Karolyi told reporters. “Today she wasn’t quite as sharp. She was very good but not quite as sharp and the other two girls surpassed her … What can you do? Sport is sport.”
And it appears that Wieber herself is turning her attention to her next competition – the team final, which will take place on Tuesday.
“Thank you all for your love and support,” she Tweeted late Sunday. “I am so proud of our team today and I can’t wait for team finals!!”