article by Julia Fincher via nbcolympics.com
If there was any question that the U.S. has the best women’s gymnastics team in the world, it was answered today for the fifth time.
With two consecutive Olympic golds and world championships titles in 2011, 2014 and 2015, the U.S. women have made a seemingly unbreakable habit of winning. And not just edging out their competitors by a few tenths, but leading the competition from start to finish and claiming victory by multiple points
Throughout the team final at the Rio Olympics, 2012 Olympians Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman, along with first-time Olympians Simone Biles, Laurie Hernandez and Madison Kocian, looked focused but confident, never faltering under the weight of the world’s or their expectations.
The other teams in the final gave their best efforts to make a run at the long-reigning queens of the sport, but nearly every team suffered a fall over the course of four events.
Not the U.S., who clocked 12 hit routines over the four events. They started with a nearly-stuck Amanar vault, the one made famous by McKayla Maroney in 2012, from Raisman. Next up was uneven bars, where Kocian and Douglas earned two of the highest uneven bars scores of the day. Hernandez, Raisman and Biles all scored over 15 points on balance beam, looking a little less steady than usual but keeping in control.
Finally, floor, again with Hernandez, Raisman and Biles. Raisman is the reigning Olympic champion on floor while Biles is the reigning world champion, and they showed why. Raisman stuck nearly every landing while Biles nearly flipped to the rafters in her routine that uses music from the movie Rio.
They finished with a team total of 8.209 points. It was the largest margin of victory since the “Perfect 10” scoring system was replaced by the current open-ended scoring method was implemented in 2006. They easily surpassed the previous record of 5.066 points, set by the Fierce Five in London.
Russia finished in second place, followed by China in third. It was Russia’s second consecutive silver, while China was missed the podium in London but won team gold at their home Olympics in Beijing.
For full article, go to: ‘Final Five’ win gymnastics team gold in Rio | NBC Olympics