Published August 02, 2012
After playing an integral part in the U.S. winning gold in the women's team gymnastics on Tuesday, Gabby Douglas once again put on a show on Thursday to win the gold in the women's all-around finals. She is the third straight American woman to win the individual all-around, coming on the heels of Carly Patterson in 2004 and Nastia Liukin in 2008. It's the first time in Team USA history that they have won gold in the event and just the second time any country has pulled off a threepeat.
It was an incredible performance by Douglas, who led after every rotation to best Russia's Viktoria Komova and Aliya Mustafina with a total of 62.232 points. Komova needed to score a 15.360 on the floor exercise. She put on an impressive performance on the floor, but came up short with a 15.100, which was good enough for silver.
Douglas set the tone for her big night in London on vault, scoring a 15.966 and establishing a lead she would never give up. She pulled off an attempt with a high degree of difficulty, despite a small hop than inched her toward the edge of the mat. It was the highest score of the evening on vault.
An animated GIF of the attempt that, just like the team competition, started the gold-medal evening:
After Komova closed the deficit on uneven bars, Douglas once again put on the performance of the night on balance beam. Her 15.5 score on the beam was the highest of the evening and pushed her lead to three-tenths of a point heading into the floor exercise. Her finish on the beam put the crowd at O2 Arena in full roar:
Douglas carried the momentum from the beam over to floor, one of her best events. She finished off the evening with a 15.033, setting a mark that Komova could not overcome.
With the victory, Douglas became the first African-American gymnast to win all-around gold, and the first American gymnast to capture gold in both the team and individual all-around competitions. She reflected on the momentous achievement after the win:
"Oh, my gosh, I forgot about that," she said. "It's definitely an amazing feeling and great honor to be the first African-American to win. I hope I can inspire people. My mother told me that I can inspire a nation."