LONDON (USA TODAY) - Aly Raisman stole the show from Gabby Douglas and Jordyn Wieber on Tuesday.
All it took was a protest and a tiebreaker in the beam and a practically perfect floor routine on the final day of gymnastics competition at the London Olympics.
The 18-year-old U.S. captain won two medals - a stunning gold on the floor with a score of 15.6 and an unusual bronze on the beam. She was so dominating that silver medalist Catalina Ponor was far back at 15.2. This is the first Olympic gold medal on the floor for the USA.
It was a stirring performance that came five days after she lost a medal in the all-around because of a scorecard tiebreaker. And it left her in stark contrast to her two better-known teammates.
Douglas, the all-around gold medalist, flopped for the second day in a row, finishing seventh in the beam after finishing eighth on the uneven bars Monday. She becomes the first all-around champ to not earn at least one individual medal since women's gymnastics was added in 1952. Wieber, the world champ in the all-around who didn't qualify for that event here, finished seventh on floor with a 14.5.
On the beam, Raisman needed to win a protest to get to the tiebreaker. She originally finished fourth, but the USA protested her level of difficulty marks. After a few anxious moments, the judges agreed with the U.S. position and placed Raisman in a tie for third with Ponor at 15.066. Then the tiebreaker kicked in, and Raisman was awarded bronze because of her execution score, 8.766 to Ponor's 8.466.
Raisman broke out into a huge smile and put her arms in the air after the announcement. Douglas, her teammate, felt the opposite emotion. Stone-faced, she had sat and watched her score of 13.633 be posted after a wobbly routine included a near-fall. She managed to stay off the floor only by wrapping both arms around the apparatus.
Had Russian star Victoria Komova not completely fallen off and scored 13.166, Douglas would have finished last among the eight competitors. This was her final event at these Games. She said the mental toll was harder on her than the physical one.
"I put my all into it," she said. "Overall, it's been a good journey."
Deng Linlin of China took the gold on beam and Sui Lu of China the silver.
The only two American men competing Tuesday - Danell Leyva and Jonathan Horton - finished out of the medal race in the high bar. Epke Zonderland of the Netherlands won the gold.
For Wieber, an Olympics that has full been full of joyous highs and shocking lows came to a close.
Wieber's wild ride began when she finished fourth in all-around qualifying. She was denied the opportunity to compete for individual Olympic gold because international rules allow only two gymnasts per country in the finals and she qualified behind Douglas and Raisman. Two days later, her steely performance helped the Americans win their first Olympic team gold since the "Magnificent Seven" in 1996. Then, for at the all-around final, she cheered as teammate Douglas won the gold.
"I would expect nothing else out of a kid whose character is etched in granite," said U.S. coach John Geddert, who has been Wieber's personal coach for her entire career. "She's as classy a kid I've ever had to deal with."