OU assistant coach Guard Young is now an Olympic Silver Medalist after the U.S. won its first team medal since 1984. Young saw action on three events, setting the tone for his team after opening the night's competition on the floor exercise and nailing his routine with a 9.7. Young also contributed a 9.475 on the still rings and a 9.350 on the vault.
The USA finished with 172.933 points, 0.888 behind gold medalist Japan. Romania took the bronze (172.384), and defending Olympic champion China, after a bad start was fifth (171.257).
Winning the silver was a milestone for the U.S. men, who had won only two team medals in Olympic history gold in the boycotted 1984 Los Angeles Games and silver in 1932, also in Los Angeles.
OU All-American Bart Conner was a part of the last team to win a team medal in 1984, also marking the last time a male gymnast represented the Sooners at the Olympics in men's gymnastics.
"A team medal at the Olympics is huge," said Conner. "I know they wanted gold, but this is an enormous accomplishment."
Even though Guard Young is done competing over in Athens with the team competition finished, fans can stay tuned to the Guard Young / Olympic Central for an inside look at what is going on in Athens, Greece, with questions and answer sessions and photo galleries from the U.S. Silver Medalist and OU head coach Mark Williams. In his latest Q&A session, Young talks about the team's performance in the team finals on August 16. Click here to access all of the Q&A sessions.
Talk about the team finals and how the team finished.
Even though every time you compete you want to win, I can't be more pleased and proud of how our team did.
We did not have a perfect meet, but neither did any of the other teams. It was a dog fight. Team U.S.A. showed a lot of heart and emotion and that is why we deserved this medal
What were your emotions when the competition was over and when you found out where the team finished?
I was extremely happy with the way things went. Even though Japan won the gold they did a very good job and deserved to be number one.
What did you do in those moments right after the competition?
As a team, we had interviews with the media. And then got on the bus to go back to the Olympic Village. We all ate dinner together, at 2:00am, and went to bed, even though nobody could sleep!
Talk about your performance. You were the first one up for the U.S. again, this time on the floor, how did you handle this big responsibility?
I looked at my role of leading the team off on the floor as a privilege. It always seems to be my role. I knew how important getting off on the right foot is so I had to really calm myself and focus.
At the pinnacle of the gymnastics competition, what went through your mind?
As I was on the medal stand, I took the opportunity to think about where I have come from to be at that very moment in time. I then took the time to think about everyone who helped me get there, because with out their help it would not be possible. Some of the people who stood out were my wife, my coach-Mark Williams, my father and most important my Father in Heaven.