Open Thread: Gabby Douglas Wins Gold Medal in “Women’s Gymnastics All Round”Posted: August 2, 2012
Here’s a feel-good story for you. LA Times:
LONDON — Gabrielle Douglas, a 16-year-old from Virginia Beach, took the women’s gymnastics all-around lead on her first event, the vault, and never let it go Thursday.
Douglas earned her second Olympic gold medal and became the first African-American Olympics all-around gold medalist by performing with ferocious power, high-flying aerial tricks on the uneven bars, a smartly cautious balance beam display and, finally, a joyfully exuberant tumbling romp on the floor exercise mat.
The silver medal went to Russia’s Victoria Komova, who wept in disappointment.
Aly Raisman of Needham, Massachusetts came in fourth.
From the Washington Post Olympic live blog:
Thursday’s triumph was the realization of a dream Douglas has had for years — a dream so powerful that it persuaded her to leave her family in Virginia Beach and move to West Des Moines, Iowa, at age 14 so she could train with Liang Chow, who had coached Iowa native Shawn Johnson to an Olympic gold and silver medal in 2008.
Douglas and her mother, Natalie Hawkins, explained to Chow that they wanted him to turn her into Olympic-caliber material — a tall order, the coach told them, in such a short time.
But Douglas packs staggering power on her 94-pound frame, uncanny flexibility and a determination that can’t quite be measured.
All of that was evident Thursday, as Douglas opened with the world’s most difficult vault, performed gracefully on the uneven bars and beam, and closed with a rousing, fun-loving floor routine that flaunted her full range of athletic skill and considerable charisma.