LONDON, Aug. 2, 2012 – Gabby Douglas of Virginia Beach, Va./Chow's Gymnastics and Dance Institute, earned the gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena with a 62.232, becoming the fourth USA Olympic all-around champion in history (Mary Lou Retton 1984, Carly Patterson 2004, Nastia Liukin 2008). U.S. women have won the all-around title at the last three Olympics (Patterson '04, Liukin '08, Douglas '12). Russia's Viktoria Komova and Aliya Mustafina earned silver and bronze with respective scores of 61.973 and 59.566.
"I definitely had this amazing feeling," said Douglas. "I just told myself, 'Believe. Don't fear, just believe.' I didn't really think about making mistakes. I just wanted to represent everyone, not just myself—Team USA, coaches, family. I wanted to show my best routines and just enjoy the moment."
"She is a very graceful gymnast and also she has the strength and determination," said Douglas' head coach, Liang Chow. "I am totally beside myself. I think it was a wonderful night and for me as a coach, that was a wonderful dream come true—to have an Olympic Champion."
Douglas is the second U.S. woman to win multiple gold medals at an Olympics since Shannon Miller (1996). Douglas competes in the finals for uneven bars on Aug. 6 and balance beam on Aug. 7.
Aly Raisman of Needham, Mass./Brestyan's American Gymnastics, finished in a tie for third with Mustafina with a 59.566, but due to the tie-breaking procedures, finished fourth in the all-around. With the tied score, FIG rules dictate that each competitor's three highest scores count, with Mustafina edging the 2012 U.S. balance beam and floor exercise champion.
"I'm really happy for Gabby," said Raisman. "She's been working really hard so I'm really excited for her, but it's definitely really frustrating because we (Mustafina) tied for third place. I was so close. But being fourth in the world is definitely something to be proud of."
Douglas was first up on vault, the first event. She competed her Amanar and scored a 15.966. Raisman also performed an Amanar and scored a 15.900. After the first event, Douglas and Raisman were in the lead with Komova in third 15.466.
Douglas scored an impressive 15.733 on uneven bars for her sky-high release moves and double layout dismount. Raisman hit a solid routine scoring 14.333. After two events, Douglas was in the lead with a 31.699, followed by Komova (31.432), Russia's Mustafina (31.333) and Raisman (30.233).
On balance beam, Douglas' routine, complete with her standing full and flip flop series to double pike, scored a 15.500. Raisman had uncharacteristic wobbles on her beam routine but dismounted with her solid double Arabian to score a 14.200. Douglas held the lead after three events with a score of 47.199, followed by Komova (46.873) and Mustafina (44.966). Raisman was fifth with a score of 44.433.
Douglas dazzled the crowd on floor exercise with her radiant smile and impressive tumbling to score a 15.033 for a total score of 62.232 to clinch the Olympic all-around title. Douglas mounted with a one-and-a-half to triple full and dismounted with a double tuck to jump. 2011 World floor medalist Raisman showed impressive tumbling complete with a one-and-a-half to double Arabian and second pass of a pike double Arabian to jump to clinch post a 15.133.
The U.S. Women's Team that earned the Olympic gold medal also features: McKayla Maroney of Long Beach, Calif./All Olympia Gymnastics Center; Kyla Ross of Aliso Viejo, Calif./Gym-Max Gymnastics; and Jordyn Wieber of DeWitt, Mich./Gedderts' Twistars USA.
"She showed such great improvement, it is incredible in such a short time," said Women's National Team Coordinator Martha Karolyi. "I have never seen an average but good gymnast five months ago climb up to be the best in the world. That's the truth."
The Olympic all-around three-peat by the U.S. women's program is the first since the Japanese men (1964-72). It is the first time a women's program has achieved this feat since the Soviets (1952-60).
Individual event finals are Aug. 5-7. Team USA individual event finalists for men are: Jake Dalton, floor exercise; Sam Mikulak, vault; Jonathan Horton, horizontal bar; and Danell Leyva, horizontal bar. For women are: Maroney, vault; Douglas, bars; Douglas and Raisman, beam; and Wieber and Raisman, floor.
Gymnastics continues tomorrow with men's trampoline and on Aug. 4 with women's trampoline.
Ways to follow the Olympic Games include:
- USAGym.org, the USA Gymnastics official website, is a great source for information about the sport: latest news, the schedule of its premier events, athlete biographies, videos, photo galleries, live scoring from major events and more. USA Gymnastics also has usagymclub.org, which is a resource center for parents of potential and existing gymnasts.
- TeamUSA.org, the U.S. Olympic Committee's website will also be a good resource for information on the Team USA in London.
- Facebook - USA Gymnastics has an official Facebook page, www.facebook.com/USAGymnastics, which carries USA Gymnastics information and activities for fans. The USOC's official Facebook page is www.facebook.com/USOlympicTeam
- Twitter - USA Gymnastics has an official Twitter feed -- @usagym. The USOC's Twitter feed is @usolympic.
- NBCOlympics.com - NBC is the broadcast and web source for coverage and news on the Olympic Games. NBCOlympics.com will carry live coverage of every gymnastics session as well as all sports, and maintain an archive for on-demand coverage. A special "Live Extra" app for smartphones and tablets is available as well. For gymnastics, viewing options will include a single "integrated" feed showing various competitors (akin to watching on TV), plus separate feeds for each apparatus.
Check your local listings for dates and times in your area here: http://www.nbcolympics.com/tv-listings/index.html.
- YouTube - USA Gymnastics has an official YouTube Channel, www.youtube.com/usagymnasticsorg, which features routines of the top gymnasts from various events, interviews, etc. The USOC's YouTube Channel is www.youtube.com/TeamUSA.