US Women's Gymnastics Team: Recapping London Olympics for Fab 5

Chris Stephens@@chris_stephens6Correspondent IIAugust 7, 2012

US Women's Gymnastics Team: Recapping London Olympics for Fab 5

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    The 2012 London Olympics was one of excitement and disappointment for the U.S. women's gymnastics team.

    While there was excitement for winning gold in the team competition and Gabrielle Douglas taking the individual all-around title, there was disappointment in McKayla Maroney not winning gold on vault.

    Still, the Fab Five have a lot to be proud of, bringing home the first team gold since 1996, as well as many other accomplishments.

    Here's a recap of the Olympics for the Fab Five.

Qualifications

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    Qualifications couldn't have gone any better than they did for the U.S.

    Upon completion, the U.S. showed they were the best team in the world, scoring 181.863 points, which was 1.4 points ahead of second-place Russia.

    But the team scores didn't really matter as the top eight teams qualified for the team final.

    As far as individuals during the qualification portion, one thing that tends to get overlooked is the fact that it wasn't Aly Raisman who pushed Jordyn Wieber out of the individual all-around. In fact, it was Gabrielle Douglas.

    During qualifications, Raisman scored 60.391, while Douglas had a 60.265 and Wieber had a 60.032. So, while many consider it Raisman who beat out Wieber for the second spot, it was Douglas' extra .233 which was the difference.   

    The U.S. was very strong on vault as they scored between 15.800 and 15.900 on all four vaults.

    Although the uneven bars was considered the weakest event for the U.S. entering the Olympics, they still performed well, scoring between 14.166 and 15.333. Douglas qualified for the event final with her score.

    The beam was very strong for the U.S. as well, as they scored between a 14.700 and 15.266. Douglas and Raisman qualified for the event final.

    The floor was where the U.S. seemed to struggle as they took scores of 13.733 and 13.766 from Kyla Ross and Douglas.

    But Raisman scored a 15.325 while Wieber had a 14.666 to qualify for the event final and help the U.S. on the apparatus.

    Overall, qualifications were good for the U.S. and gave them momentum heading into the team final.

Team Final

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    When it came to the team final, the U.S. hardly made any mistakes, which resulted in them taking the gold medal over Russia by a final margin of 183.596-178.530.

    And, it really wasn't even close.

    The U.S. led by 1.766 after the vault, which was the first rotation. After the uneven bars, they had a 0.399 advantage which swelled to 1.299 after the beam. Then, in the floor exercise, the Russians were up first and made a lot of mistakes, taking all the pressure off the U.S. as Raisman only had to score a 10.235 to give her team the gold.

    As a team, they scored the highest on three events, including the vault (48.132), balance beam (45.299) and floor exercise (45.366). In their "weakest" event, the Fab Five placed third with a score of 44.799.

    Kyla Ross was the unsung hero during the team final, in my opinion. Her scores of 14.933 on bars (eighth-best) and 15.133 on beam (fifth) gave the U.S. solid scores in those two events and proved to be huge in the end.

    One thing was for sure in the team final, while other teams were making tiny missteps here and little bobbles there, the U.S. was nearly flawless.

    Could they have done better? Absolutely.

    But, their performance is still considered very dominating and it's hard to argue who the best team in the world was on that day.

Individual All-Around

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    Douglas and Raisman gave us a show when it came to the individual all-around.

    The Flying Squirrel made her rise to the top complete with a gold medal, while Raisman was relegated to fourth. More on that later.

    Douglas was excellent throughout the individual all-around, scoring in the top four in every event.

    On the vault, she scored a 15.966 (first overall), while the uneven bars saw her score a 15.733 (third). On the beam, she acquired 15.500 points (first), while the floor exercise garnered her 15.033 points (fourth). All in all, it totaled to a .259 margin of victory for Douglas over Russia's Viktoria Komova.

    Where Douglas made the biggest dent was on the vault, where she scored 0.500 more than Komova, giving her a nice cushion. Komova soared on the uneven bars and floor, but it was not enough to make up the difference Douglas gained on the vault.

    Raisman also performed very well, finding herself in a dogfight for the bronze medal with Russia's Aliya Mustafina. Both finished the all-around with an identical 59.566 score, but the tiebreaker dropped the lowest score of the four, giving the bronze to Mustafina.

    Although it was disappointing for Raisman, finishing in fourth place in the individual all-around is nothing to sneeze about. Especially considering (before the Olympics) many thought she wouldn't be there.

Individual Apparatus Finals

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    Things didn't go as well as the U.S. had hoped on the individual apparatus finals, but the girls can still walk away with their heads held high as they took medals in three of the events.

    It all started with Maroney taking silver on the vault. Although many people considered her the best vaulter in the world and a shoo-in for the gold medal, it didn't turn out that way, as a fall on her landing relegated her to second on the podium.

    Douglas didn't perform horribly on the uneven bars, but she was far from great. The rest of the competitors had great routines. Although it was a major disappointment for Douglas to finish last in the event, making it to the final on the weakest apparatus for the U.S. is still something to be proud of.

    The beam and the floor exercise was all about Raisman as she took bronze on the beam and followed it up with a gold on the floor.

    Her bronze medal is credited to another tiebreaker rule. After she questioned her score of 14.966, the judges later bumped it up one-tenth of a point to put her in a tie with Romania's Catalina Ponor. Raisman was able to earn the bronze based on the fact that she had a higher execution score than Ponor.

    Raisman was simply spectacular on the floor routine, scoring a 15.600, which was four-tenths better than Ponor in second place.

    To go from the disappointment of the individual all-around to the kind of day she had Tuesday, it's safe to say that Raisman got the last laugh.

Conclusions

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    As gymnastics closes on the London Olympics, we can look back and be proud of what Team USA did.

    Although it would've been nice to bring home a few more medals, the Fab Five showed us what can happen when everyone does their part and executes their routine.

    While it's hard to compare the Fab Five to the Magnificent Seven, the comparisons will come no doubt.

    But, one thing each gave us was excitement and hang-onto-your-seat moments. And that's what the Olympics are all about.