Many years in the making, the U.S. women’s gymnastics team landed on top at the 2012 Olympic Games, and they plan to stay. After winning team gold Tuesday, American Gabby Douglas performed one better and took top prize for the individual all-around in London.
This makes Douglas the first American woman to win both team and all-around gold—quite impressive.
Team USA is so dynamic they decimated the competition during the team competition, winning by five points over Russia, which pretty much fell apart at the seams.
However, Viktoria Komova and Aliya Mustafina rallied during the AA, taking silver and bronze respectively, much to the dismay of Aly Raisman, who placed fourth after a tiebreak situation.
Nonetheless, the U.S. girls are no longer bridesmaids. The talent and depth to keep them in the forefront speaks to more than just individual athletes, it includes their coaches as well as the support they continue to receive from family throughout their careers.
Liang Chow, Bob Geddert, Arthur Akopyan, Mihai Brestyan, Jenny Zhang, Al Fong, Jiani Wu, Yuejiu Li, Bill and Donna Strauss have sharpened the skills of these world-class athletes and show no signs of stopping now. There are other junior and young senior gymnasts waiting in the wings for a turn to shine and any number of U.S. coaches are up to the task.
Does anyone know who will be standing atop the award platform in four years? Frankly, no—but the U.S. is in a position to push the proverbial envelope as everyone else regroups. The team's consistency made all the difference. Now the next chapter begins
This does not mean tricks in general need become more difficult or dangerous. Yet there is always some fine-tuning to be done in any sport. Form breaks, standout choreography, skill connections—all these issues must be addressed for America to continue leading the way.
For the next few days, the ladies get to rest on their laurels before more fun begins. In event finals all but Ross (who got smacked with the two-per-country rule on balance beam) will have the opportunity to compete for more gold. Maroney will perform on vault, Douglas is set up on bars and beam. Raisman will join Douglas on beam and add floor exercise to her chances, and Wieber should be rested and set to go on FX as well.
It has taken generations to succeed and succeed they have. The Yanks are no longer coming, sports fans—they have arrived.