12 August, 2012

She is history. She became a legend.

I still think that I should have been there as impressive history has been created by a gymnast from Belarus whose name is needless to say, Liubov Charkashyna. Visual images and videos about this story are still adequate to make me cry.

I tried to get a ticket for this particular day hundreds and thousands of times at the ridiculous London 2012 ticketing website. And in order to this, I did not buy for the day 2. (However, again, I should have got there without any tickets and required people around the venue who might have extras.) Anyway, I was at home with my tiny laptop and decided to watch online streaming. Of course, my Belarusian flag was on my shoulders since I could not help doing so.

The competition has began. Non-stop to the end. 10 top gymnasts all over the world competed toward three couloured medals. But, it was almost and already obvious that Russian Evgenia Kanaeva would be supposed to get her second gold and Daria Dmitrieva who is a No.2 gymnast might be able to get a silver. In other words, the result was partly semi-expected and at the same time it was quite remarkable that who would get the rest of the places (= bronze).



Until the first half, Son Yeon Jae was sensational. After first two routines, she was at the 3rd place. She was ahead of Luba, Aliya, Silviya and so on. She actually has fascinated spectators and made her rhythm and atmosphere completely. From my point of view, movements of her arms are so tender. The motions remind me Stephane Lambiel who is a former figure skater. On the other hand, Luba was performing quite shrewdly without big mistakes and she was 4th place at the end of first half.

I was watching her performance with the flag and praying for her. And seemingly she seemed very steady, I thought she might make it. But still Son Yeon Jae was so good. Even I felt she can be a highly promising Asian gymnast near future.

At the second half, Son Yeon Jae finally made a massive and decisive mistake in her clubs routine. She was not able to catch them properly and fell off on the floor. Eventually, the possibility for bronze medal for her has been disappeared unfortunately. At the Olympic Games, athletes who made mistakes have no choice but to be a loser. This is a kind of destiny.
There were two stable performers including Luba and yes, Aliya Garayeva. Both of the gymnasts did not make a fatal mistake as a whole. After the third routine which was clubs Luba was ahead of Aliya by merely 0.300 points. It was unclear who wins after final routine.


At the final routine which was ribbon, the order was Aliya first and Luba was after that. Aliya has performed so superbly and got 28.250 poins. And now, Luba's go. In order to secure her bronze she needed more than 27.950 points. At that time I was worrying about her ribbon routine to be honest, because at the qualification she has got only 26.550 points and as a result this caused to be qualified at 5th place.

Again, I was watching her performance with my Belarusian flag and seriously praying the God for her success. From the live streaming, I found it was silent despite her routine was going to decide the 3rd place. Therefore music of her performance stood out necessarily. Pressures were unavoidable obviously. But, she did make it. Luba finished her final routine without any mistakes, it was literally perfect and enough to get her bronze. She scored 28.075 points and this made 111.700 points overall which meant ahead of Aliya just 0.125 points. Absolutely competitive. Expression soon after her performance was like this as Olivier has taken (if I were there, I would not have taken these because I must have applauded to her). And she kissed on the floor which was quite impressive.


Despite whole the competition has not been finished yet, honestly I have cried for her in front of my laptop along with the Belarusian flag. I suppose it was because of the following reasons. Firstly, I was moved by her performance and expression simply and totally. Secondly, I was not at the venue and was not able to see this historical moment. Obviously, it was ultimately disappointing and regrettable for me. Thirdly, anger against the foolish organiser. Tears came out gradually from my eyes.



I saw her that much emotional expression for the first time and even felt unusual. Although I've been watching her for approximately 3 years, she has never shown like that. Of course I was impressed by her performance and her achievement which is bronze medal but, her acts were more than that for me.

In fact, even though she has got a lot of prizes, she doesn't have medals of all-around of neither world championship and European one. Therefore, this Olympics bronze was the first major title for her in terms of all-round. In a way this might specify how unlucky she used to be.

After a few days, I read some articles about her and they were basically saying that the reason why she expressed that emotionally was because she had been feeling tremendous pressures inside. And after finishing all her routines, she was relieved and thought that she doesn't have to go training tomorrow. She might take care of the rival Aliya but, I definitely understand her feelings. Because pressures cannot be seen, invisible. Moreover, it does not have any units which means unpredictable and also not scalable. Therefore I really really respect and admire her.
She comments in another articles saying that this bronze medal is not hers but for her country, coach, rhythmic gymnastics in Belarus and again, all over the country. What a lovely lady she really is. In addition, it can be said that she was carrying massive expectations and sort of burdens through her career.

All in all, there was a exquisite, breathtaking, magnificent drama on the day and there has been hidden stories behind the drama. I was fascinated by this particular sport more and more. Liubov Charkashyna, she became history and a legend. She deserved. Nobody can eliminate what she has done  11th of August 2012 and it should be everlasting.

Finally, just one thing I have to write about here. I really did not know about the fact that Luba has lost her mother in 2009 when she was 20 years. Although I believed myself as a big fan of hers and I have been watching and supporting her over the last 3 years, I'm disqualified because I did not notice such a significant affair. In her interview, she mentioned that she will dedicate her medal to her mother.


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