US Women's Gymnastics Olympic Team 2012: Analyzing the Significance of Gold

Steve Maze@N/ACorrespondent IIJuly 31, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31:  The United States celebrate after winning the gold medal in the Artistic Gymnastics Women's Team final on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on July 31, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The United States' women's gymnastics team successfully completed their goal Tuesday evening—winning gold for the first time since 1996 (via ESPN).

The United States, edging out Russia and Romania who finished second and third, respectively, earned a lead early on after a strong performance on the vault.

While the team victory is awesome for the progress of women's gymnastics, it also contributes to the momentum of the United States as a whole. Currently trailing China in gold medals, the United States would love to change that fact.

Take Monday's men's team gymnastics event as evidence for how much momentum can be gained by a nation from one team's victory. When Great Britain won the bronze medal in front of royalty—medaling in the event for the first time in 100 years—the crowd went absolutely crazy. That vibe is translated to other athletes, whether they watched the event or just read the tabloids.

Seeing your nation win an important event gives momentum to every participant of the nation. It's the United States national team—therefore, don't be surprised if the women's team gymnastics gold medal is a turning point in the medal standings.

Will LeBron James draw inspiration from Gabby Douglas's vault routine? Maybe not. But hearing the United States' national anthem playing time and time again applies pressure on athletes to get their job done.

The "Fab Five" of women's gymnastics pulled off a great win. Hopefully it generates momentum for the entire United States team in their effort to overtake China in the gold medal count.