Jasmin was replacing Elisa Hämmerle who tore her Achilles tumbling in podium training. (I saw that tumbling pass. It did not look like a full Achilles tear. I assumed it was an ankle injury, at the time.)
Valerie Theodora Ko posted an excellent and informative chat with our defending Champion:
Valerie: How will you describe the 2008 WAG Team of China?
Linlin: We were a fiercely strong team. That was why we won. Especially our big sister Cheng Fei, who was the only Olympian of the team. With her many experiences, she led us to claim that gold. As the younger teammates, the other five of us were great too. We all delivered our performances. TF is not just about one individual, but it is about the team, with the gymnasts, coaches, and those who work behind the scenes.
Valerie: How were your two Olympic experiences different?
Linlin: 2008 Olympics was my first huge competition, I was like a tiger cub and did not think a lot. I did three routines in the TF and became much more confident. In 2012 it was different because I was the team leader, I felt more weight on my shoulders. Also, 2012 was more about realizing my dreams. I knew 2012 would be my last Olympics, so I hoped I could win beam gold. I did it despite the difficulties. I conquered myself.
Valerie: Who was your favourite gymnast during your competitive years?
Linlin: I admired Li Xiaopeng (China MAG, four-time Olympic champion and eight-time World champion). He was not only handsome, but more importantly, he had a commanding presence in the arena. He was a genius in my mind.