Blaine Wilson finished sixth in the event finals for vault and Elise Ray was eighth on beam during the final day of gymnastics competition at the Sydney SuperDome.


Wilson scored a 9.362 for both vaults and Ray had a wobble on beam, scoring a 9.387.

This is the first time since 1972 that the U.S. has not collected a medal in Olympic gymnastics.
“I am very proud what the kids did, ” said Bob Colarossi, USA Gymnastics President. “We didn’t execute like we were capable of and I think that is why we had the result that we did. I am really proud of the women, going 20 for 20 in team finals is exactly what this sport is about.”
“We knew this was going to be tough coming in, but we thought we would be better than we were here,” Colarossi said. “We did everything we could do to help the kids get ready. After that, what happens happens. We moved up two spots since China (World Championships in 1999), so I think the program worked. The planning for Athens starts tomorrow.”


Blaine Wilson:

“I’d like to choke somebody but I can’t, it’s a piece of equipment. What are you going to do? It’s not like boxing where I can knock somebody out.

I will be back for another year, but I don’t know if I will be back for four years.”

What has this Olympic experience been like for you?
“It wasn’t good, it wasn’t bad, it was just an experience, I was here.”

“You always come in expecting to win, you don’t come in expecting to finish 2nd or 3rd… whatever. I am tired of explaining the fact that winning a medal doesn’t make you a person… that’s all there is to it, I mean, I am a two-time Olympian.”

“When I am competing by myself, I watch (the scoreboard) all the time, but today I didn’t watch anything.”

Elise Ray:

“I am not disappointed with how we did. I think we came out and did the best we could. We came in here as the 6th place team and finished 4th.”

“I was nervous today… I’ve been in the gym working out by myself which was harder than with the team, but I tried to keep my head up. I’ve had a lot of support from all the coaches.”

On what happened on her beam routine:
“I didn’t get my start value because I didn’t connect one of my bonus connections, other than that it felt pretty good.”

How would you sum up your Olympic experience:
“It’s not everything I had hoped it would be… there were some things that I didn’t think would ever happen that did.”

Were you distracted by the squabbling among the gymnasts and coaches?
“I think there was a little too much of that… but at the same time, it is our job as gymnasts to keep focused on the job at hand.”

On what were some problems facing the U.S. team:
“Well, obviously what happened on the vault during the all-around (was a problem)… It was hard having Morgan injured.”

“I think the 2000 team can help future teams… I think they can learn a lot from this experience. I want to help the young kids out so they can do even better.”