Martha Karolyi’s Sour Grapes

OK so maybe Alicia Sacramone (below right, picture credit: Reuters) might have cost the US women’s gymnastics team the gold last night by falling off the balance beam then doubling down by slipping in the next event, the floor exercise.

Team USA eventually claimed the silver medal and it was a huge disappointment judging by the looks on the girls’ faces. [Funny because the U.S. men reacted like they had won an Academy Award, Bible Bowl, the Super Bowl, World Series, the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest and the gold after winning “only” bronze the day before. Had they won the silver, they might just have dropped dead from excitement.]

Then U.S. team director, Martha Karolyi had to pull out all the stops in making excuses for Sacramone’s potential gold medal-costing performance. According to this story (“U.S. team blame stadium official for gymnastics loss”):

US team coordinator Martha Karolyi said officials at Beijing’s National Indoor Stadium had disrupted Sacramone’s preparations for the beam.

“First they called her name up, then they did not even put her name up even though the Chinese had finished … (it was) totally unusual holding,” she said.

“She was mentally prepared and then she had a mental break, then after not doing the job, the beam, on the floor exercise her concentration was bothered.”

Karolyi insisted the world champion US team would have won gold if Sacramone had not become unsettled.

Had the U.S. team won gold, I wonder if Martha would have said that the alleged saboteurs only strengthened her girls’ resolve?