Gold for Gabby Douglas
Thu, August 02, 2012 - 4:23 PM
LONDON — Even before Gabby Douglas finished her floor exercise routine, her final event today, she flashed her irrepressible grin, and the crowd loved it. Fans clapped along and roared, knowing full well that they were looking at the gymnast who was likely the new Olympic champion.
Though two more gymnasts in the individual all-around event had yet to compete on the floor, Douglas did not have to fret. Her performance was already good enough for gold — and good enough for her to make history. By winning, she became the first African-American Olympic all-around champion.
Douglas, a 16-year-old from Virginia Beach, also became the fourth American woman and third consecutive American to win the all-around, after Mary Lou Retton in 1984, Carly Patterson in 2004 and Nastia Liukin in 2008.
While Douglas beamed, though, Russia’s Viktoria Komova was clearly shattered. She was the last gymnast to compete on the floor exercise, but her efforts were simply not enough to pass Douglas.
When Komova saw that her name was second on the leader board, she broke down sobbing and collapsed into her coach’s arms. Her teammate Aliya Mustafina, who won the bronze, consoled her as the two walked off the floor.
The other American in the competition, Aly Raisman, finished fourth after losing a tiebreaker to Mustafina, and looked stunned.
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