Gabby Douglas: Failure to Medal on Uneven Bars Doesn't Dampen London Performance

Tyler HixsonContributor IIIAugust 6, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 06:  Gabrielle Douglas of the United States competes in the Artistic Gymnastics Women's Uneven Bars final on Day 10 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on August 6, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

USA gymnastics' golden girl, Gabby Douglas, failed to medal in the uneven bars—which has long been considered her strength—losing out on a podium spot to Beth Tweddle of Great Britain (bronze), He Jaxan of China (silver) and Aliya Mustafina of Russia (gold). 

Douglas was going be hard pressed to find the podium on the bars, competing against the Olympic trials gold winner in Tweddle, a very consistent performer in Jaxan and a confident, graceful gymnast in Mustafina. 

Despite the failure to medal by Gabby Douglas, she can still add to her medal haul in the vault on Tuesday. 

Douglas shouldn't be discouraged by not getting to the podium. She is now one of the biggest faces of USA gymnastics and USA Olympic sports in general. Just 16, she is now a two-time Olympic goal medalist, having won the gold in the all-around and team competitions at these London games.

That is a terrific accomplishment at such a young age. The personal successes Douglas has enjoyed in these Olympics largely outweigh the disappointments. 

Not only has she won two gold medals, but in doing so she became the first African-American to win the all-around and the first American to win both the all-around and the team gold (via USA Today). 

Gabby Douglas will go home a history-maker. 

What makes her success so much more remarkable is her relative obscurity before coming into these Olympics. 

When she showed up to the Olympic previews in March, Gabby's best individual performance was at the previous world championships, where she finished fifth in the uneven bars.  

She then proceeded to score better than world champion Jordyn Wieber. 

Now, Gabby Douglas is one of the most recognizable faces for the millions of people watching these Olympics. 

If going from obscurity to international stardom, from fifth-place finishes to gold medal performances, from nobody to making history doesn't define greatness, then what does?