US Wins An Extra Medal Thanks To Brilliant Interference By A Legendary Coach

Aly Raisman

Photo: NBC Sports

The women’s gymnastics balance beam concluded with one of the most dramatic and tense moments of the Olympics.After initially finishing fourth, Aly Raisman was awarded the bronze medal when her coach, at the urging of Bela Karolyi, filed a protest, arguing that Raisman did not get full credit for her routine.

But Mihai Brestyan, who had never previously filed a protest, only had five minutes to file the enquiry, and felt he did not have time to locate and retrieve his pre-filled protest form. Instead, he was able to get a new form, find a pen, and submit the protest in time.

On the next few pages we will take a closer look at how the tense moments played out.

When Aly finished her routine, everybody knew it was going to be close for a medal

Her dad couldn't watch

Nor could mum

And Aly was visibly nervous

When the score was posted, Raisman was fourth and her coach consoled her

Brestyan could be heard saying 'For what?'

Raisman embraced her competitor, Catalina Ponor of Romania

Brestyan did not have time to retrieve his own protest form, so instead, he had to request one and get it filled out in less than five minutes

The race was on

An official helped him fill out the form

While another official stood closely by checking the time

And now the race was on to get the form up to the officials for review

Several officials huddled around a monitor watching a replay of the routine

And all Brestyan could do now was wait

Raisman distracted herself with her normal post-routine routine

Meanwhile, Karolyi, Kelly and Raisman's teammates waited anxiously

The enquiry was in time, but no decision had yet to be made

Dad still couldn't watch

And finally, the score was changed

And Raisman realised she was the bronze medalist

Who knew Karolyi would play such an important role from the sideline at this Olympics?

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