Gabrielle “Gabby” Douglas secured her place in history and now holds a special place in the hearts of all Americans, and in the hearts of all African-Americans in particular. The sixteen-year-old USA gymnast took first place in the world last night and will go down in history as the first African American to win the gold medal in the women’s all-around competition.
Gabby Douglas also found herself standing with the rest of her USA teammates, otherwise known as the “Fab Five:” Aly Raisman, McKayla, Maroney, Jordan Wieber and Kyla Ross, with a gold medal around their necks. The Fab Five won the team final, and sent Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman to represent them, and America, in the finals of the women’s all-around competition.
Gabby Douglas held the top spot in the standings after the first rotation on vault. The incredibly talented Douglas never gave up that number one position as she went on to win the all-around gold medal. As for Douglas’s teammate, Raisman made a surprising and uncharacteristic error on the beam that left her in fourth place. Russia came out of the gates fighting to beat the USA after we won the team finals; however, Gabby Douglas secured America’s title as number one. Russia’s Viktoria Komova and Aliya Mustafina fell in second and third place, winning the silver and bronze for their country.
Unfortunately for Raisman, her and Mustafina finished with identical scores; however, in the event of a tie, the sum of the gymnasts’ highest three scores is used for the tie-breaker.
Gabby Douglas came out on top with a total score of 62.232. When her score flashed across the scoreboard, Gabby Douglas waved to the crowd and flashed her million dollar smile as her family cried tears of joy, happiness and pride.
When being compared to Dominique Dawes, a member of the gold medal-winning 1996 team, Gabby Douglas was honored. “She’s [Dawes] definitely one of my inspirations and role models growing up,” said Gabby Douglas. “Everyone’s comparing me to her, and I feel honored to be compared to her.”