United States gymnast Gabrielle Douglas is nicknamed the “The Flying Squirrel” and on Thursday she showed the whole world exactly why, earning the gold medal in the Women’s Individual All-Around.
The 16-year-old from Virginia put on a memorable performance in front of a packed O2 Arena and helped prove that the United States continues to dominate the sport. Douglas’ gold was the fourth time the country had earned the biggest award in the sport.
Coming into the last event, it was down to two – Douglas and Russia’s Viktoria Komova. It had been neck and neck between the two the entire time. Douglas was spectacular on the vault, which gave her a lead that she would hold on to until the end. She then marveled fans on the uneven bars and the beam before the final event – the floor exercise.
Even though she was keeping an eye on Komova’s score, Douglas just continued to do her own thing, scoring an impressive 15.033 in the final event which brought her total score to 62.232.
But Komova still had to finish.
The Russian star had to be almost perfect to walk away the winner and as her final score of 61.973 went up on the board, Douglas and her supporters went nuts. It was her second gold medal, with two events still to go before the Olympics come to an end in London.
“I just wanted to go out there and show everyone what I was capable of. My coach has prepared me well. He told me my training will not go in vain. So there I was, just cruising and now I am on cloud nine,” she said.
Douglas came almost out of nowhere in the world of gymnastics and was virtually unknown this time last year, but her ascent to the top came quickly, thanks in part to her coach Liang Chow. Chow had success at the last Olympics, coaching Shawn Johnson to the silver in the same event.
“Today’s victory puts her hard work and preparation to a new level,” Chow said. “There’s no magic but her work.”
Her hard work has certainly paid off but the celebration can’t last too long, as she must look ahead to her next two events.
Great Britain 18
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