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Bob Colarossi attends Olympics with International Gymnastics Federation

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Posted: Thursday, August 2, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 6:06 am, Thu Aug 2, 2012.

The London Olympics aren't even a week old, but there have been plenty of stories already — especially from the gymnastics world, where America's women cemented their place in history with team gold and the youthful men's squad took a tumble to fifth place.

Estate Crush owner Bob Colarossi, who is attending the Games as an executive committee member of the International Gymnastics Federation, has taken it all in over the past few days.

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The News-Sentinel caught up with Colarossi via email about his entire experience in London so far.

Q: To start, what were your thoughts on the opening ceremony and the Games so far?

A: The opening ceremony was very well done with the right balance of English traditionalism and tribute to the country's history as both an industrial innovator and rock-and-roll mecca.

Overall, the organization of the Games is very good. Having the Tube (the London Underground) makes transportation, which is usually one of the most difficult parts of the Games, very accessible and easy.

The use of historic places to stage the events, such as tennis at Wimbledon, beach volleyball at Horse Guards Parade and equestrian at The Royal Naval College is just amazing.

Q: USA's Olympic uniforms: Thumbs up or thumbs down?

A: Ali and I like the USA uniforms, for all of the sports in general, but are not so crazy about the medal podium apparel.

Q: What has the local atmosphere been like during these Games?

A: I have worked in London quite a bit previously and there is always an undercurrent of vibrant energy. The Londoners are very proud and excited to host the Games and invite the world to their home. The national pride and support for the home-team athletes is remarkable.

Q: Outside of gymnastics, have you gone to watch any other Olympic sporting events?

A: Ali and I have been very fortunate in the non-gymnastics times, to see water polo, beach volleyball, tennis and equestrian. If there is time, I will try to see (field) hockey, athletics and handball, after Ali has to head home.

Q: Where does the USA girls' gold medal performance rank for you, in terms of dominance and execution?

A: At the very top. Winning by five points in gymnastics is like winning by 100 points in football.

Q: Was there an event or performance in particular from the "Fierce Five" that stood out?

A: I loved the way the U.S. women started on vault. The first two vaults from Jordyn (Wieber) and Gabby (Douglas) were rock solid and McKayla (Maroney's) vault was a moonshot — one of the best ever.

It was a fantastic way to start in one of the toughest competition formats in sports.

Q: Thoughts on the way Wieber rebounded for team competition after missing the All-Around final?

A: Jordyn is an incredible athlete and that night she showed the world just how incredible she is. I have been friends with her coach John Geddert (the U.S. Olympic head coach) for more than 25 years. I knew he would help her stay focused and on track.

To be successful in sport (and in life), you have to focus on what you have control over and not worry about the rest, and that night Jordyn, and all the girls, were laser-focused.

Q: Given how Wieber missed the AA final despite having the fourth-best qualifying score, is there an argument to be made against the two-gymnasts-per-country limit? Or will that take away from the "global" goal of the competition?

A: We used to have that rule (that allowed three per country) and I totally understand both sides of the discussion. Sometimes it is hard to find the right balance between competition and participation.

Q: Obviously, things didn't go the USA's way in the men's competition. Can they overcome those struggles heading into the individual events?

A: There is a famous saying in sport — "There is a reason they play the games." What happened was unfortunate, but the format of three-up, three-count is unforgiving. A single mistake can cost the team dearly.

The guys will be fine moving forward, they are VERY experienced competitors.

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