31 Jul 2012 03:43 PM EST
-By Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: American gymnasts Jordyn Wieber, Gabrielle Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Alexandra Raisman and Kyla Ross get their gold medals. (Image Source: Getty Images)
For the firs time since the famed “Magnificent Seven” of 1996, the USA women’s gymnastics team has won the elusive Olympics gold medal in the women’s artistic team all-around competition with a thundering performance on Tuesday.
With a total score of 183.596 it wasn’t even close, as the Americans blew away the field, following up their impressive performance in the 2011 world championships.
This wasn’t the first time the Red, White and Blue came into the Olympics with high expectations. They were the world champions in both 2003 and 2007, heading into the 2004 and 2008 Olympic games. They were favorites, but finished second both times, to China in Beijing in ’08 and to Romania in Athens in ‘04.
Silver isn’t bad, but gold is better.
Jordyn Wieber, who failed to qualify for the individual all-around competition—snubbed in the opinion of her coach—got things going with a great “Amanar” vault in the first event. She dusted off her disappointment pretty nicely after shedding tears on Sunday. Despite finishing fourth in the qualifying round, Wieber did not advance because of a rule limiting two gymnasts per team in the finals of the individual all-around.
Teammates Gabby Douglas and McKayla Maroney followed up with even better vaults. Maroney is considered the favorite to win the gold in the individual vault.
When the US stood at the podium to receive their gold medals, Wieber was brought to tears again, but this time they were tears of sheer joy, something the entire USA team displayed throughout the competition on Tuesday according to reports.
This group of young women may go down, as the greatest American gymnastics team ever.
“This is the deepest team in the world,” said Bela Karolyi [per USA Today].
The coach of the 1996 team was high on this year’s edition even before today adding: “I think this is a more even team with their performances. The 1996 team had ups and downs.”
Russia finished second with a score or 178.530, five points behind the Americans, to grab the silver medal and the Romanians took the bronze with a 176.414 score.
Daniel Mogollon is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of American. He is also a voter for the Thorpe and the Rotary Lombardi Award, as well as the Latino Sports MVP Awards.
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