Gabby Douglas performed well enough to defeat Russian challengers Viktoria Komova and Aliya Mustafina in the women's individual all-around final on Thursday. This doesn't come as a surprise, but a victory for Komova wouldn't have either.
The women's field was extremely competitive this year. Jordyn Wieber, perhaps the world's top all-around talent, didn't even qualify for this year's final. Instead, her teammate, Douglas, carried the torch with masterful precision.
Team USA's other participant, Aly Raisman, finished fourth.
Douglas' finish was expected, but that doesn't make it less remarkable. She's a tremendously talented gymnast, and she's only 17 years old. Her individual Olympic gold, and her performance in Team USA's team gold, point to an exceptionally bright future for her.
Talented gymnasts can't be good at one apparatus. They have to be good at all of them, or at least good enough to hold your own against the competition.
On Thursday, Douglas had the top score on the vault and the balance beam. She had the third-highest mark on the uneven bars, and she had the fourth-best floor exercise.
Thursday's rotations were not flawless, but she displayed enough poise in each of them to win.
Her well-rounded talent is what sets her apart.
Others have it as well, but she's already experienced what it's like to win her sport's highest achievement. The moment will never be too big for her because she's already triumphed over the biggest possible moment of her athletic career.
Douglas will likely enter the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro as a medal-winning favorite. Her reputation could suffer a setback in the next four years, but her obvious talent makes that hard to believe. Team USA's future is unbearably bright with Douglas, Raisman and Wieber leading the way in the near future.
Watching Douglas claim gold in the all-around final just seemed to fit. She's been a standout performer from the moment Olympic trials began, and she continued that success in London.
She earned her success in this year's Olympics, and it's only the beginning in what will be a magnificent gymnastics career.
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