Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas were two of the integral pieces contributing to the United States gymnastics team bringing home its first team all-around gold medal since the 1996 Olympics.
The two fan-favorites will follow up their gold-medal effort with brilliant performances in the individual all-around final on August 2.
Raisman and Douglas are two of the best in the world at their craft. That fact was never more evident than when they both beat out teammate Jordyn Wieber to advance to the final. Wieber was pegged as one of the favorites to bring home the gold, but she didn't even qualify because of a rule that only allows two participants per country to move on.
Whatever you think of the rule, Raisman and Douglas advancing is a testament to just how good they actually are.
Raisman finished second in the all-around qualifying behind Russia's Viktoria Komova. She put up a spectacular score of 30.391.
In the qualification, Raisman proved why she is where she is.
She racked up a score of 15.900 on the vault, the fourth-best in the competition. Her balance beam score of 15.100 put her fifth amongst the field. She faltered a bit on the uneven bars, finished in 23rd place in the event, but put an exclamation point on her day with a first-place finish on the floor exercise.
Douglas, one of the most charismatic and likable athletes in these London Games, finished just over a point behind Raisman in the qualification.
"The Flying Squirrel," as she has affectionately been nicknamed, could be in an even better position to take home the all-around gold than Raisman is.
In the qualifier, she finished tied for first on vault, third on balance beam, sixth on uneven bars and 33rd on the floor exercise.
She's going to do much better than that in the all-around final. Her specialty is the uneven bars. That's how she got her nickname. Her performance on the uneven bars in the team final was about the same, but some fine tuning should better her score.
It's likely that her performance on the floor exercise will improve as well. In the team final, Douglas bettered her qualifying performance on the floor exercise by finishing in third place overall.
Raisman and Douglas are in prime position to medal in the individual all-around competition at the 2012 London Olympics. A 1-2 finish isn't out of the realms of possibility, and may even be a probability.
If they are able to do exactly that, 2012 would be one of the greatest years for American women's gymnastics.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!