On Thursday afternoon in Rio, Simone Biles and Aly Raisman represented Team USA in the women’s gymnastics all-around finals against the best in the world.
And, once again, it was a golden day for Biles and a terrific silver day for Raisman. Here’s how it all went down.
USA ‘vaults’ into the lead
Both Biles (15.866) and Raisman (15.633) nailed their vaults, finishing with the best scores of their rotations, even as Biles had a one-tenth deduction for crossing her toes in the air, a quirk Biles does on every vault.
After the rotation, the two Americans found themselves in the lead overall, too, giving notice to the rest of the world. Though, really, who would be surprised at this point?
Putting the ‘uneven’ in the uneven bars
The uneven bars is considered the Americans’ weakest apparatus and it was the only time anyone managed to sneak past the dynamic duo. Raisman started the group off and scored a 14.166, a bit lower than the 14.733 she got in qualifying on Sunday, due to a few handstands that were just off-center.
Biles faired better, getting lots of air and nailing her landing, garnering a 14.966 which, like Raisman, was lower than her qualification score.
But it was the Russian pair of Aliya Mustafina and Seda Tutkhalyan who created drama, garnering high enough scores on their bar performances to knock Biles to second and Raisman to fourth. DRAMA!
Balance in the Force
Biles led off her group on the beam and threw down the gauntlet, turning out a 15.433 performance that catapulted her back to the top, including an absolutely stellar dismount and landing. Her score would remain the best for the apparatus throughout all of Thursday’s action.
Raisman likewise had a dominant beam performance but the judges disagreed with everyone who watched it, giving her a too-low 14.866, leaving her in third place behind Biles and Mustafina heading into the floor exercise.
Drop the mic … to the floor
Raisman and Biles closed the competition out with the final two performances on the floor. For Raisman, a stellar routine scored a 15.433 propelling her past Mustafina into what would have been a gold medal. If not for teammate Simone Biles, that is.
Like she always has, Biles absolutely dominated the floor and dropped the mic with a stunning 15.933 to easily claim the gold and then everyone cried all of the tears out of happiness.
And neither gymnast is done. There’s still the individual events to come, when both Raisman and Biles will surely add to their medal collection.