On Tuesday at the gymnastics event finals Aly Raisman had two chances to get the medal that eluded her in the individual all-around competition. The 18-year-old American gymnast would first compete on the balance beam, then the floor exercise. But in a strange twist, Raisman's day - and her Olympics - were saved by her coach, Mihai Brestyan.
Raisman's routine on the balance beam registered an initial score of 14.966, but that looked wrong to everyone in the arena. The fourth-place score just seemed off, so American coaches Bela and Marta Karolyi yelled from the stands urging Raisman's personal coach to appeal the scoring. So Brestyan did just that.
According to Yahoo!'s Les Carpenter, the problem was Brestyan had never filed an appeal in his 20 years as a gymnastics coach. But ultimately he figured it out, despite losing the appeal form he was given before the day began and scrambling to find a new one.
The rules say that teams can appeal judges' rulings, but a personal coach must file the appeal and it must be done within five minutes. That's why Brestyan filled out an appeal form in advance.
He got a blank form, filled it out quickly and turned it in.
Brestyan convinced the judges that Raisman's routine had been scored incorrectly. Her routine was elevated to a 15.066, which tied her in third-place with Romanian Catalina Ponor. Their difficulty scores were the same at 6.300, but Raisman's execution score was higher, which gave her the bronze on a tie-breaker.
That reversal completely turned around the Olympics for Raisman, who was on the verge of dealing with a second-straight fourth-place finish after she finished fourth in the individual all-around.
The bronze on the beam changed everything. Raisman looked like it relaxed her. She was smiling and seemed at peace. Then she went out and nailed her routine on the floor exercise, posting a score of 15.600.
Raisman put on a dominating display on the floor earning a gold medal, as Ponor finished second with a score of 15.200.
It was Aly Raisman's day at the London Olympics and we can all thank her coach for that.
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