Posted: Aug 4, 2012 11:06 PM by AP
Updated: Aug 4, 2012 11:07 PM
LONDON -- Lafayette native Savannah Vinsant completed her second routine in the North Greenwich Arena on Saturday afternoon and hit all 10 of the tricks in each performance.
When she went to sit and wait for her second score to appear on the overhead scoreboard she knew she had accomplished her goal.
Hey, she is only 19 and the youngest competitor in the Olympic event so her goals were small.
"Overall, I just wanted to do 20 skills," she said. "That was my initial goal."
After her first routine, she thought she would be fortunate to make all 20, sitting in 11th place.
"The compulsories were a little shaky with my first routine at the end," she said. "But I came back out, I think, with some fire in my bottom and got out there for optional."
Vinsant was exquisite in the optionals and was confident she had turned in an excellent performance.
That is why Vinsant's goals suddenly changed in the minute she sat waiting for her score.
But it wasn't the score from her second set she was looking for, it was a single digit she had in mind: "8."
If "8'' popped up on the scoreboard it would mean she would have finished eighth in the preliminaries to become the first American to reach the trampoline finals.
It seemed like the longest minute of her life before her score was posted, but the number "8'' did not come up. Instead she saw a "7."
"When I saw seven on the board to make finals I was shocked," she said. 'I don't know if you saw my face, but I was like, 'Oh my goodness!' I knew exactly at that moment what it meant. It's amazing."
It meant that Vinsant had accomplished what no other American had accomplished and she turned it into a sixth-place Olympic finish with another solid performance in the finals.
"It's absolutely amazing!" she said. "I can't do anything but smile."
Canada's Rosannagh MacLennan (57.305) was the surprise gold medalist in the event when defending champ Wenna He (55.950) of China slipped and fell as she landed in the finals, dropping her to the bonze medalist behind teammate Shanshan Huang (56.730).