Gabby Douglas, the wunderkind from Virginia Beach, Va., bounced off the walls as high as one of her triple summersaults after becoming the third consecutive American to win the crown jewel of Olympic gymnastics — the women’s all-around title.
Douglas brought the house down with her energetic floor routine, and U.S. teammates Jordyn Wieber, McKayla Maroney and Kyla Ross jumped to their feet and cheered when she finished. Douglas flashed a smile and coach Liang Chow lifted her off the podium.
There was bitterness. Viktoria Komova of Russia, runner-up at last year’s world championships, fell about three-tenths of a point short to the lithe teen known as “The Flying Squirrel.” As soon as the results flashed on the scoreboard Komova became inconsolable, waving away a sympathetic hand from a coach.
There was resignation. American Aly Raisman, 18, stood stone-faced, head downcast and keenly aware of a lost opportunity after losing the bronze medal in a tiebreaker. Russian Aliya Mustafina was awarded third place after officials dropped the lowest scores for both gymnasts.
“I don’t think it is fair,” said Mahai Brestyan, Raisman’s coach. “These kids are both deserving of the same medals.”
Congrats to Gabby on a job well done.