The USA women’s gymnastics team turned in a sterling performance Tuesday to capture the country’s first team gold since the “Magnificent 7” of Atlanta won the crown in 1996.
At North Greenwich Arena, Gabrielle Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Alexandra Raisman, Kyla Ross and Jordyn Wieber dominated on the day. They placed first in three of the four apparatuses—vault, balance beam, and floor—and turned in the third-best combined score on the uneven bars.
Russia won the silver and Romania captured bronze. China, which took gold in Beijing, couldn’t follow up their 2008 triumph with a medal in London, placing fourth.
As they came into their last rotation of the competition, the floor, Team USA knew it had a solid lead and a gold medal just in its grasp. During her last performance, Wieber couldn’t hold back a wide smile as she stuck each landing on the floor, knowing that although she had fallen short of qualifying in the individual all-around, she was delivering a routine that would likely deliver gold for the United States. When Raisman finished her performance, she was overcome with emotion, as she knew she’d finished the U.S. team’s day with an exclamation point.
All that remained was a final tallying by the judges. They posted Raisman’s floor score, which was the best of any competitor in the finals. Then when they posted the final scores of the competition, USA was on top, taking home its first team gold in 16 years.