IT HAPPENS, even when you can least afford it.

There’s not another way to write or review it honestly. The men’s gymnastic team psyched themselves out.

Danell Leyva, the gymnast who led the entire world in the all-around in the qualifications and nearly made the pommel horse final, looked frazzled as he mounted this event today in the second rotation. He slipped from the horse and put up a dismal score in the low 13’s “” nearly two full points lower than what he is capable of. Despite a redemptive effort from Mikulak on the same event, disaster loomed for this American team. Anchor John Orozco, typically world class on this event as well, self-destructed under the pressure and suffered a fall of his own. After failing to regain his composure and typically smooth swing, the reigning U.S. national champion and Team USA swallowed a score in the 12’s. – U.S. men’s gymnasts fly off course in team finals

There’s no way I can relate to the pressure of the Olympics.

But I do know the pressure of performance, going back to their age. It’s a mental game. See Tiger Woods in golf when he first started out. There is nothing that can replace the steel mind zen of a performer in that zone, which is the only way you can perform at peak levels when it’s required.

And sometimes it fails you. I’ve been there on the performance field, though again, performing on Broadway or other high profile events, including my own one-woman show, doesn’t compare.

It was a heartbreaking loss for the men expected to win gold, as was watching Jordyn Wieber fail to make the all-around gymnastics final.

It’s the ecstasy and the agony of competition, performance and playing in the big leagues, no matter the field of play.

Graphic above is one of the many Google doodles that have been posted during the Olympics.