A huge congrats to Mohini Bhardwaj on medalling in her first, and probably only, Olympics! The U.S. women’s gymnastics team won silver today, 2nd to Romania and ahead of Russia. This is a historic day: Bhardwaj is the first Indian-American Olympic medalist ever, and as far as I know, the first Indian-American Olympian. She’s been working toward this day off-and-on for 21 years.
The U.S. team leaned heavily on the veteran Bhardwaj in their medal quest. She competed in every finals event except uneven bars:
[T]hey could also be proud of the way 25-year-old Mohini Bhardwaj came in at the last minute to replace Kupets on the balance beam, allowing Kupets to nurse her sore right leg a little longer before performing on the floor. “For Mohini to come in like that, with three minutes warning, that shows the preparation this whole team had,” Bela Karolyi said.They used her in as many events as the team star, Carly Patterson, and more events than any other team member. Poor Courtney McCool was benched entirely due to preliminary round jitters.
Bhardwaj and Annia Hatch nailed their vaults this time, making it look easy. Out of three U.S. gymnasts in each event, Bhardwaj recorded the #2 score in vault and floor exercise and #3 on the balance beam, the event where she was asked to pinch hit. The final score wasn’t close, Romania pulled way ahead on a huge 9.75 score by Catalina Ponor on the floor exercise.
Check out the highlights tonight, 8-midnight on NBC. And make sure you watch Bhardwaj in her individual event finals, floor exercise Mon 8/23 from 8pm-midnight, where she has a shot at another medal.
More Bhardwaj here: