Gabby Douglas Takes Gold: First African American To Win Olympics Women’s All Around

U.S. gymnast Gabby Douglas won gold in the 2012 women’s all-around Olympic finals Thursday, making history as Douglas also becomes the first African-American to win the all-around title.

As CBS News reports, the 16-year-old American gymnast became the third straight American to win gold in the women’s all-around competition. She took the lead with the first event and did not give it back, finishing with a score of 62.232, less than three-tenths ahead of Russia’s Viktoria Komova.

Aliya Mustafina and Aly Raisman tied for third, however Raisman lost the tie, giving Mustafina the bronze medal. Douglas and Raisman were both hoping to capture the coveted women’s all-around title, but Douglas was the only one to follow in the footsteps of Mary Lous Retton, Shannon Miller, Carly Patterson, and Nastia Liukin, reports USA Today.

Not only did Gabby Douglas win the gold medal, she became the first woman of color to win the Olympic all-around gold in the individual competition. While Dominique Dawes won a gold medal in the team competition in 1996, no woman of color had ever won in the individual all-around event — until now. Douglas stated of Dawes that, “She was one of my inspirations and role models growing up.”

Gabby Douglas Takes First Place At Women's Gymnastics All-around

Noticeably missing from Thursday’s competition was Jordyn Wieber, the reigning world champion who was favored to win gold. Wieber, who finished fourth in qualifying, was not able to compete in the final event, because only two gymnasts from each country are allowed to advance to the finals.

Raisman and Douglas finished in the top three in qualifying, effectively ousting the reigning world champion. Despite this, Wieber was in great spirits while watching her teammates from the stands. She sent out a tweet about the competition, which read:

Shawn Johnson, who won Gold on the balance beam and silver in both the all-around and floor routine competitions at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, was also in the stands for the all-around final on Thursday, and took to Twitter to say:

Johnson also celebrated Douglas’s gold, writing:

Aly Raisman and Aliya Mustafina both tied for third place, so officials dropped their lowest score, then calculated scores. Mustafina’s was higher, so Raisman was given fourth place, removing her from the medal stand.

Are you excited that Gabby Douglas won gold in the women’s all-around individual finals at the 2012 London Olympics?

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