The Fab 5 (or Fierce 5 as McKayla Maroney puts it) wins GOLD in the women’s gymnastics team final at the North Greenwich Arena on Tuesday, July 31. The girls looked ready to live up to their hype having qualified into team final in first place from prelims. They went into these time final hitting 12-for-12-for-gold.

Team USA and Team Russia started on Vault in the same rotation. Vault is by far Team USA’s strongest event with three Amanars including a 15.933 from Jordyn Wieber and a 15.966 from Gabby Douglas. McKayla Maroney got some sick Air-roney doing the best Amanar we’ve ever seen her perform and sticks it cold to add a 16.233 (9.733 E score) to start off having a big lead above the other teams.

Team Russia will only compete two Amanars so they were already starting out with a lower team score on Vault. Aliya Mustafina started off with a stuck double twsting Yurchenko to earn a 15.233. Viktoria Komova does the first Amanar for Russia to get a 15.833 while Maria Paseka (who only competed Vault for Russia like Maroney for the U.S.) stumbles on the landing to get a 15.300.

Let’s see that incredible Vault from McKayla Maroney again

Heading into the second rotation, Team USA had almost two points above the Russians. But with really strong Bar workers – Anastasia Grishina, Aly Mustafina and Viktoria Komova – Russia came back strong and was only 0.399 tenths behind the U.S. Team USA went 3-for-3 on the Uneven Bars starting with a good routine from Jordyn Wieber then followed by hit routine from Kyla Ross, scoring above 14.6 for both. Gabby “Flying Squirrel” Douglas rocked a killer bar routine to add a 15.2 to Team USA.

The girls move to the make-it-or-break-it event on the Balance Beam in the third rotation. A decision was made to put in Gabby instead of Jordyn caused quite a stir amongst the gymnastics community. We know that Gabby can be a little shaky on Beam but she can score big when she hits. The other concern was that during the prelims, Jordyn didn’t get any of her connection value and thought the judges would be even more strict in team finals. In the end, that decision proved to be golden as Kyla gets a 15.133, Gabby gets a 15.233 and Aly gets a 14.933.

Russia had a rougher time with major wobbles from Mustafina only earning a 14.533. Similar mistakes from Komova but still earned above a 15 to get a 15.033. Afanaseva could only muster a 14.833.

The girls looked a bit more relaxed after hitting great sets on Beam as they headed to the Floor Exercise in their last rotation. It’s always fun to end your competition on an apparatus like Floor where your music is blasting in the arena while you jump and flip around in excitement. Gabby lead the Floor line up landing four solid tumbling passes to earn a 15.066. Jordyn Wieber goes up next to nail her double double mount, solid landing on her 1 1/2 to triple full (removing the split jump that may have caused her the AA finals), a gorgeous 2 1/2 + leap and ends with a great double pike dismount which the judges gave her a 15.0. Aly Raisman finishes the floor line up with an incredible routine with solid landings on her 1 1/2 through to a double arabian (smart move on removing the punch front where she had problems with it earlier in warm ups), a double pike arabian, a triple full and ends with a nice double pike. She was in tears as soon as she landed her dismount and so were we. She knew, we knew, the whole area knew that Team USA has done it.

Russia remained in second place through out the competition but counted two falls on Floor from Anastasia Grishina and Ksenia Afanaseva. As soon as Grishina made the mistake on Floor, Komova and Mustafina were starting to tear up knowing that the gold medal was now out of the question. China and Romania fought for the bronze. But consistancy from the Romanian team helped them into third place with solid scores from Catalina Ponor and Larisa Iordache on Beam. China looked a bit tentative during team finals but had steller performances from He Kexin on her best event on Bars and Sui Lu on Floor.

The Fab 5 has done what the Mag 7 did 16 years ago at the 1996 Atlanta Games. We’re even in tears just writing about this. These girls worked incredibly hard and deserved that gold medal. I’d like to dedicate this article to Jordyn Wieber who had to deal devastating news for not qualifying into women’s AA because of a stupid 2 per country rule. She walked into the team final with a great attitude and cheered louder than anyone on the team. Even right when Aly finished her Floor routine, you could see Jordyn in the background jumping up and down. This gold medal goes to you girl!