No matter what happens with the U.S. women’s gymnastics team, they can rest assured that their vault scores will be vastly superior to the one turned in by Croatia’s Ana Derek.
A 17-year-old, Derek was competing in her first Olympics on Monday night, attempting to qualify for the event finals in the vault. She failed to do so, but did so with impeccable grace. How? By mis-timing her steps and running right over the vault like a 6-year-old in an intro gymnastics course.
The best part about the entire incident was clearly her official dismount, where she correctly acknowledged the judges, with a smile for the Brazilian crowd at that (nice catch, The Big Lead).
The vault itself apparently counted as an official score, which was unfortunate for Derek but a humorous and, honestly, refreshing bit of levity for Olympic onlookers otherwise caught up in the non-stop rush of drama (and melodrama).
Besides, at just 21 come the next Olympics, Derek will likely have another shot at the apparatus in Tokyo. Just ask Oksana “Chuso” Chusovitina. If the 41-year-old Uzbek is any indication, Derek’s vault will keep improving for another two decades before it really hits its peak. After all, Derek will be watching the vault finals; Chuso will be competing in them.