It seemed as if the Romanian women's gymnastics team had it in the bag in the 2000 Olympics tonight. Skregnobla Rushenkov had only to perform a vaulting maneuver which had a degree of difficulty of 4.6. It was basically just a matter of running up to the vault, putting her hands on the vault and jumping over it, legs spread wide, an upside-down Goldie Hawn grin to the judges, and landing on two feet. The team only needed her to score 3.2 on this simple exercise in order to clinch the Gold Medal. The Medal that meant so much to them, as they had already spent the front money promised to Krudneklik Clipoffya, the local drug dealer in Blymentrufukl (their home town), on enough cocaine to get their lithe little bodies through this tortuous ordeal.
Skregnobla assumed the position facing the vault. She was exuberant in her demeanor. There was a fine white powder just above and below her lips. The judges assumed it was talc.
As she began her run toward the vault, a sort of quizzical look came across her face. It seemed as if the vault was not the correct height! As her tiny hands reached out to make contact, they missed entirely and her nubile frame went flying headfirst into the concrete wall.
Paramedics were called. The prognosis was not good. Skregnobla was declared a vegetable.
At the same time, the Olympic Committee was feverishly meeting to determine whether or not the vault had been set at the correct level. It was determined that it was 5" too low. It was decided that the gymnast should be given another chance to complete the maneuver.
The Romanian team begged and pleaded to allow the Number Two gymnast, Fredoniska Burklovitch, to be allowed to take the place of the injured Skregnobla. But, on this point, the committee was firm.
"No, it must be the original gymnast who completes the event."
In an act of desperation never before witnessed at the Olympic games, the entire Romanian team rolled the wheelchair of their fallen comrade up to the start line for the vault. As the Flight of the Bumblebee played loudly in the background, the team pushed the wheelchair as hard as their little wired-up legs could carry them. As they reached the vault, they stopped abruptly and the tiny paralyzed frame of Skregnobla flew out of the wheelchair toward the apparatus. As her limp body flew across the vault, only to hit the concrete wall for a second time in one evening, the judges held up their signs.
3.1 / 2.9 / 3.0
The Romanians began forming a marketing plan with the Wheaties reps for a cereal box photo of the limp gymnast crossing "her last hurdle" (in order to pay the often volcanic Dealer back home).