Tuesday, August 7, 2012 was a glorious day for American women’s gymnast, Aly Raisman. She saved her best performance for last and won the gold medal in the women’s individual floor exercise at the 2012 London Summer Olympics. Teammate Gabby Douglas, winner of the women’s individual all-around, failed to medal in her final event, after slipping off the balance beam and finishing in seventh place. The third U.S.women’s team member, world champion Jordyn Wieber, was seventh in the floor exercises, and despite being a pre-Olympic favorite, didn’t take home any individual medals.
The history making performance by Aly Raisman gives the United States a first ever gold medal in the woman’s individual floor exercise. Raisman seemed to find new inspiration, after the judges re-tabulated her score in an earlier event, and moved her up from fourth place to a bronze medal in the balance beam.
The Massachusetts native was outstanding in the floor exercises, achieving such great height on her tumbling passes that one commentator was inspired to say, “You could drive a double decker bus under her.” Aly stuck every landing with so much power that you could actually hear her feet hit the mat over the crowd noise.
The silver medal in the individual floor exercises went to Romania’s Catalina Ponor, the 2004 Olympic champion in the event. Aliya Mustafina, of the Russian women’s team, won the bronze; earning her fourth medal of the London Olympics. Raisman posted a winning score of 15.600 to Poner’s total of 15.200 and Mustafina’s 14.900.
Despite showing signs of exhaustion after an exciting Olympics, Gabby Douglas was absolutely thrilled for her teammate. Douglas said. “I’m so happy for Aly, she deserves to be up on that podium. She had a great routine and I’m so proud of her.” Douglas was also philosophical about her fall from the balance beam, when she said, “”Olympic all-around champion is going to be attached to my name. Life is going to be crazy for me. Even though we had a very bad ending of the chapter, the beginning was very strong.”
What an exciting Olympics for Aly Raisman. She won the women’s team gold with teammates Jordyn Wieber, Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney and Kyla Ross. She squeaked out an unexpected bronze in the balance beam, and then she reached for the heavens with gold in the floor exercise. Raisman was ecstatic, as she bubbled to reporters, “It was definitely the best floor routine that I’ve ever done. To have it be at the Olympic Games, in the finals, is just really amazing and just a dream come true. That’s what you work for your whole life.”