USA Gymnastics Emotional Day
The U.S. gymnastics team (from left to right) Bridget Sloan, Alicia Sacramone, Samantha Peszek, Chellsie Memmel, Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson with their silver medals after Wednesday's competition.
Beijing marked the second consecutive Olympics in which the U.S. women walked away with silver after having entered the Games as the overwhelming favorite. They were undone this year by a series of mistakes on the final two rotations, including Alicia Sacramone's fall off the balance beam.
Things didn't get much better for Sacramone in the floor exercise, where she landed on her back during her second pass.
Nastia Liukin was one of three U.S. gymnasts to step out of bounds in the floor exercise.
Even Shawn Johnson, the reigning world champ in the floor exercise and the reigning all-around champ, stepped out of bounds during the final rotation.
Nastia Liukin and her teammates had gone into the final exercise trailing China by a point.
China's winning score of 188.9 was more than two points better than the Americans, who said after the competition that Chellsie Memmel had competed only on the uneven bars because of a broken bone in her right ankle.
Bridget Sloan competed in the vault for the U.S., her only event in the final.
Samantha Peszek was basically reduced to being a cheerleader after spraining her left ankle on Sunday.
Coach Martha Karolyi did her best to console and encourage Sacramone and the rest of the U.S. gymnasts.
In the end Shawn Johnson and the U.S. congratulated China's champs for a job well done.