Sam Mikulak Finally Has His Medal

Photo: Francois Nel (Getty)

I have never been so happy to have a blog of mine age so poorly.

A couple of days ago I wrote about Sam Mikulak, the top male gymnast in the U.S. who has struggled in major international competition. Mikulak, a five-time U.S. national champion, had yet to earn a world or Olympic medal. He had been to two Olympics Games and three world championships. (This year’s worlds were his fourth.) You couldn’t help but wonder if it would ever happen for him.

Mikulak, 26, had two especially heartbreaking finishes in the all-around at the world championships. The first one came in 2013 when he was in second place heading to the final event: high bar. He faltered there and slid to sixth in the rankings. Mikulak did the same thing again a few days ago during the all-around final at the 2018 world championships. He was in third place heading into the last rotation and missed his grip on high bar, and slipped from a podium position to fifth.

Not to mention a whole bunch of almosts: fourth at the 2013 worlds on high bar, fourth at the Olympic Games on high bar, fourth in yesterday’s pommel horse final, and fourth in today’s parallel bars finals.

Once again, it all came down to high bar for Mikulak, the last event of the 2018 world championships. He qualified into the final in second place, behind Japan’s Kohei Uchimura, and ahead of 2012 Olympic high bar champion Epke Zonderland, who qualified in fourth. With the exception of his mistake in the all-around final, Mikulak hadn’t missed a routine on that event. During the team final, he posted the highest high bar score to help the U.S. men to a fourth-place finish.

He competed third in the lineup, right after a stellar routine from Zonderland, who won the silver last year after he caught his Kovacs—a tucked double back over the bar—with just one hand and managed to keep the routine going without losing his rhythm.

This year was more successful for Zonderland, who caught all of his releases with both hands and stuck his dismount.

Next up was Mikulak, who caught everything, including the release move that dashed his all-around hopes a few days. He landed his double twisting double layout with just a small hop forward to go into second place behind Zonderland with five gymnasts remaining.

Only Uchimura would end up bumping Mikulak further down with his absolutely stellar high bar work. The Japanese legend took second place, pushing Mikulak down to third, which is where he remained until the end of the competition. Mikulak finally had his medal, a bronze on his best event.

And he seemed particularly thrilled when he came out to collect it during the medal ceremony.

In the post-meet interview, however, he mostly seemed relieved. He had finally done what he had been trying to do for years. He would no longer be the guy who had all the talent and ability, but none of the international accolades to show for it.

“It’s been a big weight off my chest,” he said.

The U.S. men’s program likely feels the same way. Mikulak’s medal means that the men will not go home empty-handed this year.

Source link

more recommended stories

  • Russian Weightlifter’s Lower Leg Bones Go Kerblooey During Ill-Fated 250-Kilogram Squat

    The setting for this horrifying video.

  • Fired-Up Raptors Thoroughly Flatten Bucks, Draw Even In Eastern Conference Finals

    Photo: Gregory Shamus (Getty) For the.

  • Phillies’ Bryce Harper Throws Out Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo With 264-Foot Rocket

    Bryce Harper’s hitting still mostly hasn’t.

  • Gareth Bale Deserved Better

    Photo: Denis Doyle (Getty Images) As.

  • Suso Channels His Inner Messi With A Near-Perfect Free Kick To Keep Milan’s Champions League Hopes Alive

    Photo: Emilio Andreoli (Getty Images) AC.

  • Man Dropkicks Arnold Schwarzenegger, Screams “Help Me, I Need A Lamborghini” As Security Drags Him Away

    Arnold Schwarzenegger says “there is nothing.

  • Alex Rodriguez And His Lawyers Very Much Don’t Want Anyone To See A Photo Of Him On The Toilet

    Photo: Drew Hallowell (Getty Images) There’s.

  • “I Am Very Proud Of Myself!”

    Screenshot: Twitter In a minor league.

  • The Las Vegas Aces Swung A Huge Trade For Liz Cambage

    Photo: Hannah Peters (Getty) The best.

  • Brook Lopez Leads The Bucks Over Kyle Lowry And The Raptors, Just As We All Saw Coming

    In an epic matchup of global.

  • Rockies Spoil Chris Sale’s Historic Performance, Beat Red Sox Despite Striking Out 24 Times

    Photo: Kathryn Riley (Getty) Tuesday night.

  • Dodgers Pitcher Julio Urias Arrested On Suspicion Of Domestic Violence

    Photo: Maddie Meyere (Getty) Dodgers pitcher.

  • It Is Probably Not The White Sox’s Year

    Photo: Nuccio DiNuzzo (Getty) Let’s check.

  • Kawhi Leonard Wins Game 7 With Insane Buzzer-Beater, Sends Joel Embiid Home Sobbing

    The Toronto Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers.

  • Sepp Blatter, Who Tried To Use Money To Ruin Soccer, Thinks That Money Has The Potential To Ruin Soccer

    Photo: Matthias Schrader (AP Photo) Sepp.

  • A Bad Throw To First Forced Niko Goodrum To Send A Flying Knee Into Marwin Gonzalez’s Face

    Detroit’s Niko Goodrum and Minnesota’s Marwin.

  • The 10 Best Deals of May 10, 2019

    Best Deals of the DayThe best.

  • Josh Reddick Rips A Go-Ahead Three-Run Jack Back From The Land Of Dingers

    This insane Josh Reddick catch may.

  • Warriors Dodge A Whole Hailstorm Of Bullets, Hold Off Rockets In Game 5

    The Warriors found themselves in a.

  • Jürgen Klopp And Liverpool Got Everything Right

    Photo: Clive Brunskill (Getty Images) While.

  • Joel Embiid Has Diarrhea

    Photo: Mitchell Leff (Getty Images) In.

  • The Celtics Appear To Be In The Deepest Of Doo Doo

    Photo: Maddie Meyer (Getty) The Celtics.

  • Blues Drop Stars Goalie Ben Bishop With Puck To The Collarbone, Score Over His Writhing Body

    Even with the final score being.

  • The Big Wet President Blames Kentucky Derby Result On PC Police

    Photo: Alex Brandon (AP Photo) Given.

  • Mohamed Salah Exits Game On Stretcher After Suffering A Head Injury Against Newcastle

    In the 67th minute of Liverpool’s.

  • The 10 Best Deals of May 3, 2019

    Best Deals of the DayThe best.

  • It Sure Sounds Like A Cubs Exec Was Trying To Influence Addison Russell Coverage

    Photo: Jeff Curry (Getty) Nine days.

  • Liverpool Couldn’t Finish, And Now They Are (Probably) Finished

    Photo: Michael Regan (Getty Images) Liverpool.

  • Lionel Messi Flings Liverpool Into The Sun In Champions League

    Photo: Catherine Ivill (Getty) If you.

  • Steph Curry’s Finger Mangled And James Harden’s Eye Gouged In Opening Minutes Of Game 2

    Photo: Jeff Chiu (AP) Basketball fans.

  • What The Absolute Hell Was Kyle Lowry Doing?

    Photo: Vaughn Ridley (Getty) It was.

  • Brad Gilbert Will Run For Justin Gimelstob’s Seat On The ATP Board, May Spare The ATP Some Actual Decisions

    Photo: Julian Finney (Getty) Brad Gilbert,.