US Dominates Team Competition
Who is the best gymnastics team in the world? This question was again answered today with gold at the team finals.
Throughout the team final at the Rio Olympics, 2012 Olympians Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas, along with first-time Olympians Madison Kocian, Laurie Hernandez and Simone Biles, looked focused but confident, never faltering under the weight of the world’s or their expectations.
It was all part of their strategy, Raisman explained in a pre-Olympic interview. “We’re going in as the best team in the world,” Raisman said. “So we should carry ourselves that way, not be scared and shaky because we have that pressure. It should be the opposite.
“You know, you walk in like you’re number one and I think that’s intimidating to everyone else.”
12 stuck 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.