Olympic Gymnastics 2012: Can Gabby Douglas Surpass Shannon Miller?

Chris StephensCorrespondent IIAugust 4, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 02:  Gabrielle Douglas of the United States competes on the balance beam in the Artistic Gymnastics Women's Individual All-Around final on Day 6 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on August 2, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

When looking at the history of U.S. gymnastics, there is none better than Shannon Miller with her seven overall medals over the course of two Olympic Games.

With seven medals to her credit, including two golds, Miller will long be considered the greatest U.S. gymnast of all time.

However, is it possible that Olympic all-around champion Gabrielle Douglas can unseat Miller as the greatest gymnast in U.S. history?

Now, before people jump to conclusions on this article, hear me out.

Miller earned a gold and silver in team competition, and one gold, two silvers and two bronzes in individual Olympic competition. Douglas has a team gold and individual all-around gold to her credit so far, and is in the running for two individual apparatus medals.

So, with medals in the uneven bars and balance beam, will Douglas surpass Miller as the greatest U.S. gymnast ever?

Keep in mind that Miller scored five medals at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, although they were all silver and bronze. Also remember, she doesn't have an individual all-around gold medal to her credit.

While many will argue that Douglas is going to have to compete in the 2016 Olympics in Rio, and do well, to come close to comparing to Miller, I actually beg to differ.

If Douglas wins at least one gold in one of the two individual events, I believe the conversation should be in full swing. If she wins a second gold, then there has to be some serious consideration of her being the best U.S. gymnast ever.

I know, it's very bold to call a current gymnast that competes the best ever, but I don't mind being bold.

So, if Douglas wins two golds, I'll consider her the best gymnast in U.S. history.

If she medals in both, but not two golds, then the dialogue should be open to her being considered the best ever.

Now, if she medals in neither, then the title stays with Miller and Douglas will have to return to the Rio Olympics in four years to try and earn the title.

Regardless, Douglas has done something Miller (nor any other U.S. gymnast) could never do—win team gold and individual all-around gold.

Now, if that doesn't put her in the conversation, then I don't know what does.