NBC may not win a Gold medal for its all-around Olympic coverage, but it definitely had fewer stumbles in bringing us the women’s all-around gymnastics competition on Thursday than it did with the men’s equivalent on Wednesday.
For starters, we got to see plenty of action from five of the main medal contenders — Americans Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman, Russians Victoria Komova and Aliya Mustafina, as well as Deng Linlin of China — and that deeper dive into the competition made Douglas’ start-to-finish lead all the more impressive. I mean, when you know how dazzling Komova can be on the floor exercise, or when you’ve witnessed Mustafina’s signature uneven-bar dismount, then you know it takes something pretty special to beat ’em.
And pretty special would certainly be a great way to describe Douglas’ all-around run. Kicking things off with an explosive, rafters-skimming vault, doing her best imitation of a flying squirrel on the uneven bars, dismounting from the balance beam with equal parts power and exuberance, and finally wrapping things up with a bouncy, beautiful floor routine, Douglas proved an absolute joy for tired Olympic-watching eyes. Yeah, I felt for Silver medalist Komova when she burst into tears after realizing her big score on the final rotation wouldn’t be enough to catch Douglas, and certainly it was hard to see Raisman tie for third but miss the Bronze due to a technical tiebreaker, but at the end of the day, the most consistently brilliant gymnast got the glory.
What was your favorite moment of Day 6? To be fair, Michael Phelps’ three-peat over Ryan Lochte in the 200-meter individual medley was a thriller, too, but in my book, the night belonged to the 16-year-old Virginia girl with the megawatt smile. Whether you agree, or whether a less headline-grabbing moment tickled your fancy on Day 6, do sound off in the comments with your own thoughts!Follow @MichaelSlezakTV