So, I had no expectations for the men's team to do anything decent while they were running with the second string team. I was happy for Raj Bhavsar who was alternate for both the 2004 and 2008 teams, but because of others' injuries got to compete. Other than the steady Jonathan Horton, I didn't think we fielded a strong team.
However, they proved me wrong. Despite having to use 2 of their alternates, they were able to earn the bronze. Everybody had counted out this team, including me, and they stepped up to the plate and delivered. They were ahead for the first 3 rotations and almost would have captured the silver except their pommel horse wasn't strong.
Instead of just being happy that Raj got to compete, I was proud that he had helped earn an Olympic medal. Sasha Artemev (the other alternate that got promoted) also deserves props. He was extremely unreliable before, but he has shined in Beijing. He had to do well at the end to insure a bronze, and he did. Grace under pressure.
You might wonder what's the big fuss about a bronze, but believe me that nothing was expected of this team. That they led for half the night and medaled is amazing.
Congrats US Men's Gymnastics Team! You shined when nobody expected you to. Well done! The "B" team makes good.