Next up was Mikulak, who caught everything, including the release move that dashed his all-around hopes a few days. He landed his double twisting double layout with just a small hop forward to go into second place behind Zonderland with five gymnasts remaining.

Only Uchimura would end up bumping Mikulak further down with his absolutely stellar high bar work. The Japanese legend took second place, pushing Mikulak down to third, which is where he remained until the end of the competition. Mikulak finally had his medal, a bronze on his best event.


And he seemed particularly thrilled when he came out to collect it during the medal ceremony.


In the post-meet interview, however, he mostly seemed relieved. He had finally done what he had been trying to do for years. He would no longer be the guy who had all the talent and ability, but none of the international accolades to show for it.

“It’s been a big weight off my chest,” he said.

The U.S. men’s program likely feels the same way. Mikulak’s medal means that the men will not go home empty-handed this year.