He knew he had done it. He knew he had. The whole arena knew he had. Well, at least they thought that he had.
The 2008 Olympics were expected to be the breakout for Brazilian star, Diego Hypolito. And the 2008 Olympics were set to be the breakout for Hypoltio. After qualifying to the floor final in first place, Diego was set well on his way to win an Olympic gold medal.
Stick, stick, stick. That is how Diego’s routine started on the floor exercise during the final round of this event in men’s gymnastics. He was hitting a nearly perfect routine, and the whole arena, including himself, knew that the gold medal was his. Just until, his last tumble, an arabian double front tuck. A fairly basic tumble, especially for Diego. All he needed to do was land it. He launches for the arabian, completes the double flip, lands, takes a few steps back, and takes a fall. A whole point off. His shot at a gold medal… was taken away from him. Or, at least for those Olympics.
London, 2012. Brazil qualifies only three gymnasts to the games, Diego being one of them. However, Diego failed to even make it past the qualifying round. His shot at an Olympic medal was taken away from him… once again.
Rio, 2016. Hypolito’s third Olympics. At 31 years old, Diego knows that this very well might be his last chance at a medal. This time, he will be fighting for a spot on the podium, in his home country. Hypolito qualified to the floor final in 4th place this time. Feeling confident, Diego walked into the arena on the afternoon of the floor final, ready to do nothing but the best that he could. He performed a steady routine scoring a tiny bit higher than what he scored in qualifications and this time, it was enough to get him a silver medal. He had finally done it. Tears flowed as he stood on the podium. Years and years of persistence and perseverance, and he had finally done it. Diego Hypolito, finally won an Olympic medal.
|Photo via Getty Images. 🙂