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U.S. women's gymnastics team grabs gold for first time since 1996

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
August 1st, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

There's some red, white and blue pride to be had in Londontown. The U.S. women's gymnastics team has grabbed its first Olympic title since 1996, a whopping five points ahead of the Russian team. The team's score of 183.596 made their final event an especially joyous one. Romania won the bronze.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Americans screamed a chant of "U-S-A! U-S-A!" as the score for captain Aly Raisman was displayed. The women gymnasts held up their index fingers for the cameras to make sure that the world community knew.

The women's gymnastics team was the strongest the U.S. has ever had. After the U.S. opened with a barrage of booming vaults, everyone else was playing for silver.

Some have suggested that the team take the nickname "The Fab Five," but that appellation already belongs to Michigan basketball's Chris Webber, Jalen Rose and Co. Other likely candidates include "The Fierce Five."

The U.S. team won the gold medal with their first event, vault, putting on a fireworks show right in front of the Russians.

All of the Americans do Amanars, one of the toughest vaults in the world -- a roundoff onto the takeoff board, back handspring onto the table and 2.5 twisting somersaults before landing. It's got a start value -- the measure of difficulty -- of 6.5, a whopping 0.7 above the vault most other gymnasts do, and they ripped off one massive one after another.

World champion Jordyn Wieber went first with her Amanar, one of the toughest vaults in the world -- a roundoff onto the takeoff board, back handspring onto the table and 2.5 twisting somersaults before landing. Wieber did perhaps the best one she's ever done, getting great height in the air with her legs locked together.

When Wieber's feet slammed into the mat on landing, she threw up her arms and smiled to the world community.

Up next was Gabby Douglas went next and her vault was even better. McKayla Maroney then got so much height on her Amanar many wondered how she avoided the ceiling.

The Americans strutted out of the event with a 1.7-point lead, and never looked back.

Kyla Ross, was described as a ballerina with "her long legs and gorgeous lines." She landed one somersault with her left foot curled over the edge of the beam, yet never flinched.

The Russians team struggled. Anastasia Grishina stumbled forward on one pass and botched another when she all but came to a dead stop in the middle of the floor. World champion Ksenia Afanaseva landed her dismount on her knees in an especially awkward moment.

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