So many people had written off Jana Bieger after she won three silver medals at the 2006 World Championships in Aarhus, Denmark then suddenly disappeared for over a year. What happened to her? Simply, she got injured, couldn’t be at full form, and thus failed to make the 2007 World Championships team that travelled to Stuttgart, Germany and won team gold.

After silver medals in the Team, Individual All-Around and Floor Exercise in Aarhus, one would think that people wouldn’t write off someone that talented. Granted, Jana has some form issues with regards to her feet. Oh no! Jana is a human being who can’t make the sole of her foot touch her heels like the most flexible of rhythmic gymnasts or Cirque du Soleil contortionists. In my opinion, her inability to hyperextend her feet holds no ground on her placement on the Olympic Team. Jana has strong a Uneven Bars routine that, even if not used in the Team Final, could bode VERY well for the USA in the qualifying round.

Her Uneven Bars routines at the 2008 US Championships in Boston scored 15.450 on the first day and 15.550 on the second day, ranking her fourth on the Uneven Bars in the USA behind Nastia Liukin, Chellsie Memmel and Bridget Sloan. To make her Uneven Bars case even stronger, she outscored US Uneven Bars bronze medallist Bridget Sloan at the Olympic Trials in Philadelphia, scoring 15.650 and 15.700 compared to Sloan’s 15.600 and 14.500.

At this point, Uneven Bars is the only place I can see Jana providing a strong score for the USA based on her scores from the US Championships and Olympic Trials. She might be able to post a decent lead-off score in qualifying on the Balance Beam with her Championship and Trials scores ranging from 14.900 to 15.450.

Jana deserves a place on this team, even if it is just for one event. The fact that she has a female coach (who happens to be her mother) is irrelevant. She deserves a spot.

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