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US Women's Gymnastic Olympic Team 2012: Gold Medal Makes Up for Men's Slip-Up

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31:  Gabrielle Douglas, Kyla Ross, Mc Kayla Maroney and Jordyn Wieber of the United States celebrate during the final rotation 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
Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistAugust 1, 2012

Team USA's women's gymnastic team earned a gold medal in Tuesday's team performance, helping American gymnastics fans forget the men's team's disappointing fifth-place finish on Monday. 

Coming into London, Team USA was considered a top contender on both the men's and women's side. When the men failed to follow expectations, it left a tremendous amount of pressure on the shoulders of the women's squad. 

The women's team won in dominant fashion. They defeated Russia by nearly five points in the team final, and Jordyn Wieber was flawless in her floor routine. Once she was done, Team USA's victory was on ice.

The American women are usually tough competitors in Olympic competition, but they haven't won a gold medal since 1996. That's a drought that needed to be broken, and this talented squad performed their best when it mattered the most. 

The same thing can't be said for the men. Team USA's men's team struggled on the majority of their rotations in their team final, and that allowed China, Japan and even Great Britain to earn their respective medals. This was a disappointment for their team and for every follower of this team heading into London. They weren't an experienced group, but the pieces fit like a glove. 

Wieber, Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman led the way for the American side in their victory as predicted. The resurgent Russian group gave an admirable effort, but Team USA's versatile group was too much in the end.

If the American gymnastic teams had left London with no medals, or even just without a gold, it would have been a grave disappointment. Wieber's failure to qualify for any individual medals already added to that, but the women's team victory evens the scales. 

The men's side didn't go as expected, but Tuesday's electrifying performance reestablished America's presence in the gymnastic world.

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