Gabby Douglas edged out Viktoria Komova for the Olympic all-around title while her toughest competition looked on from the stands.
Douglas is the Olympic champion, but she cannot claim the title of best in the world because Jordyn Wieber did not compete.
All summer long Wieber and Douglas played ping-pong with that No. 1 slot. Douglas beat Wieber at the Secret Classic, but it didn’t count because Douglas was only there on exhibition. Then Wieber beat Douglas at the Visa Championships and Douglas edged her out at the U.S. Olympic trials.
The interviews and the press focused on their rivalry and how they were going to go 1-2 in the Olympics. The final determining factor of who was better was going to be decided in London, in front of the world’s stage.
The duo never had the opportunity to face off because Douglas and Aly Raisman beat Wieber for the American slots in the all-around finals.
Yes, Douglas defeated Wieber during the preliminary round, but as shown by the men’s competition, the preliminaries mean nothing. All-around men’s gymnastics superstar Kohei Uchimura took ninth in the all-around preliminaries. Nobody is arguing that he’s not the best in the world.
Wieber is the defending world champion and she has bested Douglas multiple times.
It was arguable whether Wieber was the best or not after worlds because Aliya Mustafina sat out. Well, Wieber beat Mustafina on Sunday and Douglas beat her again on Tuesday.
Wieber beat Komova in the world championships and has beaten Raisman plenty of times. She proved she could beat every other gymnast on the all-around roster during preliminaries.
Wieber’s score from Sunday would have put her in the bronze medal slot. However, both Douglas and Komova did better in the finals than the preliminaries.
So, who really is the best?
Wieber is strong and fierce. She has no major strength, but no weakness on any of the four events. Douglas is a stud on the uneven bars, but can seem weak on the balance beam.
We will never really know, unless they had let Wieber compete on Tuesday as an exhibition performer. But they didn’t.
Wieber tweeted at Douglas and said that Douglas was the Olympic all-around champion and she deserved it.
That statement is completely true.
Gabby Douglas is a superstar. She has made Olympic history as the first American to win the team gold and all-around gold.
But she can’t call herself genuinely better than Jordyn Wieber because that hasn’t been proven yet.