So this is what the end looks like for the reigning Olympic gymnastics all-around gold medalist Nastia Liukin:
She looked to be putting on a stellar routine on the uneven bars at the U.S. Olympic trials on Friday night. And a stellar routine was much needed. After a post-Beijing hiatus from the sport, after faltering at nationals earlier this month, the 22-year-old dynamo had to kill it on the two events she was competing in. The uneven bars and the balance beam were her ticket to another Olympic team.
Liukin started strong, swinging and pirouetting from bar to bar. The crowd at the HP Pavilion was loving it. Then she just simply ran out of gas. On the upper bar, on her final handstand, she nearly overshot it. Her knees buckled. The crowd groaned. Her labored routine led her into a dismount with little momentum. She fell smack onto her butt on the mat, and then she walked away, her head in her hands.
The score popped up in the arena: 14.05. Better than at nationals. But nowhere n...