When looking at scores, Oklahoma won with a total of 198.050 to UCLA’s total of 197.950; but in the end, both teams came out with victories. This meet in particular was the “Together We Rise” dedication that supported sexual abuse victims. The Pauley Pavilion was filled from wall to wall with the color teal, and a crowd that exploded with energy. Not only was this considered a time for athletes to stand with unity for their fellow/former teammates, but it was a day of perfection!
A total of 6 perfect 10s between both teams.
Yes, with Oklahoma ranked as the #1 team in the NCAA, we expect perfection. In some routines, perfection was missed. It was small errors that caused Oklahoma and UCLA to have neck and neck scores throughout the entire meet. As a whole, it has become quite noticeable the change that has come about in UCLA. They’ve maintained a place as the #4 team, but there is a fire in them this season. Personally UCLA has always been my favorite for how they perform, but their scores so far in the season, have only remained consistent and have gotten only higher.
The real victory was how these teams earned a total of 6 perfect scores, and reminded us what sports are really about. With the Larry Nassar scandal that has been plastered all over the news, and social media, this gymnastics meet took our minds off the negative aspects. Seeing these two top ranked teams come together illustrated a bigger picture for us all. At times, society becomes locked in on scandal and who did what, which may lead us to think badly about the sport itself.
Sports is about unity and witnessing achievements that only very few can accomplish. Maggie Nichols of Oklahoma is a survivor of Larry Nassar; she went from World Champion to one of NCAA’s top athletes. On the other hand, Jordyn Wieber (UCLA) also a survivor of Nassar, went from World and Olympic Champion to UCLA’s Volunteer Assistant Coach. These are only two examples of what these gymnasts have achieved.
Oklahoma and UCLA in my eyes were a representation of what gymnastics really can be. This meet was a reminder of why we love sports; both teams were the epitome of respect and passion in which only drives each other further.