She did that. She
flew. She twisted. She tumbled. And she had fun doing it, sticking every
landing with her trademark grin. And at the end of the fourth perfect pass,
followed by appreciative applause, a thankful wave and a hug with Liukin, the
score came up: 15.525. Same as Liukin's. It was just enough to nudge Johnson
past Yang for silver by a mere .075.
Yes, there was a
measure of disappointment. Johnson could not help but fight back tears as her
friend was adorned with the gold medal. But they were tears of happiness too.
With steel wills, the two of them had accomplished what they'd set out to do.
They'd proved that at this magic time in Beijing in 2008, they were the two
best gymnasts in the world.
And ever the best
E.M. Swift weighs
in on the latest gymnastics controversies and what the IOC must do to fix the
sport, at SI.com/Olympics.