At this point another dominant performance by the members of the American women’s gymnastics team shouldn’t surprise anybody, especially after the self-anointed Final Five, Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, Laurie Hernandez, Gabby Douglas, and Madison Kocian ran away from the competition in the team final on their way to the gold medal. But today was different for a few reasons. For one, it wasn’t the five, it was two: Biles and Raisman competed while Douglas and the rest of the squad cheered on their teammates from the stands. And it wasn’t the runaway win people had expected. But in the end, the results were as expected.
While Biles and Raisman went into the day the obvious favorites to medal, there was some competition and intrigue in today’s final, namely Aliya Mustafina claiming the highest score on the bars and leading after two rounds. But with the beam and the floor as the final events, the two parts of the competition Biles excels in, Mustafina’s hair of a lead was sure to vanish. The question that remained was whether Raisman could make up ground to get into contention.
Biles was dominant to open up, and it was easy to see Mustafina felt the pressure to follow. Her performance, a 13.866, put her behind Biles leading into the floor competition, but just a few points ahead of Raisman for the silver.
In the final competition on the floor, Raisman, going before her teammate, needed better than a 14. She walked off the floor with tears in her eyes, overcome with emotion. The judges awarded her a 15.433, putting her into first. But the lead was short-lived as Biles sealed the gold. She was in her element, totally comfortable, with only her teammate to beat.
Tall order, but she pulled it off. In the end, she took home the gold and Raisman took the podium next to her with the silver.