The Russian Team has always been a force to be reckon with in the world of gymnastics. However, it’s been years since they have been able to call themselves the best in the world.
Best known as the Soviets in the gymnastics world, the “Russians” (if you will) dominated throughout a majority of the 20th century. Winning Olympics, after Olympics, after Olympics, the Soviets were the team to beat. And then, something changed. What changed is not really 100% known by anyone in this gymternet world, but we do have a few educated guesses. Could it have been the rise of the Romanians? Or the U.S.? The boycott? Could it have been the change from the Soviet Union to Russia? We don’t know. But we do know that the Russians were no longer the best in the world and it was to remain this way for quite some time.
2010 World Championships. Rotterdam, The Netherlands. After qualifying in first place to the team final, high expectations are set for the Russian team. But the Russians wouldn’t let this affect them… they just wanted to be back up on top of the world. And with a strong performance they could definitely do that. However, they did have their one and only rival, the Americans.
Some falters on the floor exercise from the U.S. in the team final gave a bit of an advantage to the Russians but the Russians also had a few mistakes on bars. In the end, the Russians were able to win, beating the U.S. by a small margin. But they didn’t care about how much they won by, they just knew that they were the best in the world again. This wouldn’t last for long, though.
The Russians went on to be beat by the Americans at the 2011 World Championships, the 2012 Olympic Games, the 2014 World Championships (there was no team final at the 2013 Worlds), the 2015 World Championships, and the 2016 Olympic Games. But it’s not like their dominance is completely over. They got silver to the United States at the 2016 Olympics and at this point that is like winning gold because nobody is going to be beating the Americans anytime soon. And as far as the men go, they’re not too shabby either. Well, that is unless you call winning silver to the unbeatable Japan and only “loosing” by like three points (AT THE OLYMPICS) shabby, then yeah they’re not too bad. Hence, in my opinion, I give the Russians all the credit to be able to call themselves the best in the world, with both their men’s and women’s teams getting about as close as you can get to gold in the gymnastics field right now and they just keep on proving to be getting more and more consistent. And maybe just one day, and maybe some day soon, Russia will be able to call themselves the “official” bests in the world again.
|Photo via Getty Images. 🙂|