Tag Archives: Valeria Maksiuta

Hava Nagila inspires USA’s Aly Raisman to victory at the empy seat Olympics.

Empty seats left and right at North Greenwich Arena yesterday.

Empty seats left and right at North Greenwich Arena yesterday.

Israeli gymnast Valeria Maksiuta disappointed in the Women’s Artistic Gymnastics qualification round at the London Olympics yesterday coming 59th out of 60. It was left to Israel’s proxy, the USA, to step into the breach.

Only two women from each country can qualify for the individual all-round final on Thursday so USA team captain Aly Raisman needed something inspirational in the floor exercise to put her above team mate Jordyn Wieber. And to the tune of Hava Nagila she didn’t disappoint herself as her winning score of 15.325 put her through to the final.

She said she’s proud to use the traditional Jewish tune “because there aren’t too many Jewish athletes out there” among the world’s top gymnasts.

Check out her spectacular winning routine from yesterday and……enjoy!

Team GB’s Beth Tweddle was equally sensational. Had the Greenwich Arena been filled to capacity yesterday the roof would have come off and the foundations would have been rocked when Tweddle somersaulted off the uneven bars at the end of her routine:

It was thrilling to be at the North Greenwich Arena and see such incredible performances. Woman’s gymnastics is drama, theatre, art and sport combined.

London was also buzzing. The Olympics is a rare chance for a country to have a positive shared experience. Those heading to events feel part of something special so it was especially sad to see so many empty seats.

LOCOG had intentionally whipped the British public up into a ticket buying frenzy, which left so many disappointed. Hours of people’s lives were wasted online.

Only now has the truth been revealed. Tickets were allocated to sponsors and the “Olympics family” who haven’t bothered showing up for the qualifying rounds of events. No doubt they’ll be there for medal events.

Television viewers are seeing swathes of empty seats across many events and it was the same at the gymnastics yesterday. LOCOG even brought in the army as seat fillers. The last time I saw so many military watching an event was, literally, at Yugoslavia’s Marshall Tito FA cup final in 1987 in Belgrade!

Now there’s talk of somehow retrieving unused tickets and handing them out to school-children and the unemployed, meaning that those who have spent hours online and who are desperate to go will miss out again.

Seb Coe and LOCOG really don’t get it.

It is unforgivable.

More photos from yesterday:

Army brought in as seat fillers yesterday.

Army brought in as seat fillers yesterday.

Team Canada posing for photos yesterday.

Team Canada posing for photos yesterday.

Israeli flag for Valeria Maksiuta

Israeli flag for Valeria Maksiuta

Building the atmosphere yesterday.

Building the atmosphere yesterday.