16-year-old American gymnast Gabby Douglas was a fan favorite from the get-go at the London Olympics. The smile, the personality, the Flying Squirrel nickname, the “being good at gymnastics and helping the U.S. win a team gold medal” thing – she had it all. She wasn’t done, though – today came the individual all-around competition. This, of course, has happened, but hasn’t aired on television in the United States yet, so if you don’t want to know what happened, do not read any further and probably just leave this post (and all of the internet) until you watch tonight. And with that said…
Just making sure: do you not want spoilers? Because spoilers are coming up. You’re good? OK.
Warning: Spoilers coming up
Douglas won the gold. Victoria Komova of Russia took silver, while Komova’s countrywoman Aliya Mustafina won bronze. It’s a huge moment for Douglas for several reasons: 1) well, duh, she just won a damn Olympic gold medal; 2) she’s the first American woman to win golds in both the team and individual all-around events; 3) she’s the first African-American woman to win the all-around individual title, period.
Putting aside the firsts, though, it’s an enormous achievement for Douglas, period – and, since she’s 16, it might just be the first of many. Not bad for not being able to get a driver’s license in some states. And to see what went into Douglas’s gold, you can check out the video below, of her floor routine – after which these announcers seemed to think there was no chance she could lose the gold. It was close, but in the end, they were right. A major star has definitely been born. Selected highlights from her gold-clinching floor routine below.
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Getty photo, by Streeter Lecka