Gabby Douglas executed everything she needed to on Thursday in the women's all-around gymnastics competition at the 2012 Olympics, and earned her second gold medal in three days for her efforts. She made a bit of Olympic history in the process, too.
Douglas led after every rotation and held off Russia's Viktoria Komova and Aliya Mustafina with strong performances on the balance beam (15.500, best on the apparatus) and floor exercise (15.033, just .033 off her best mark of the Games) to win the all-around gold with 62.232 points, becoming the third straight American gymnast to do so, following Carly Patterson in 2004 and Nastia Liukin in 2008.
Komova needed a 15.360 on the floor to beat Douglas, but only pulled a 15.100, and had to settle for silver at 61.973.
That string of three straight wins in the all-around is a first for the U.S., and the second in Olympic history: the Soviet Union pulled the same feat in 1952, 1956, and 1960, the first three times the all-around competition was staged.
Douglas' victory also makes her the first American women's gymnast to win both team and all-around gold, the first African-American and first gymnast to win all-around gold, and just the second U.S. gymnast to ever do so. (Over a century ago, in the 1904 Olympics, Julian Lenhart won the men's all-around and led Team USA to men's team gold.)
But her gold has to compensate for some other heartbreak for the U.S. team in the event. Aly Raisman seemingly fell out of medal contention with a bobble on her balance beam routine (she scored a 14.200 on the event), but came back with a 15.133 in the floor exercise to tie Mustafina at 59.566 for the competition.
Mustafina, however, won the tiebreaker, and earned the bronze medal.
The tape-delayed version of the event will be broadcast on NBC during their primetime show from 8 p.m. to midnight ET.