Way to go for the gold! The U.S. had two ladies — Madison Kocian and Gabby Douglas — fighting it out for a medal in the uneven bars Aug. 14. But they had some stiff competition and ultimately it was Russia’s Aliya Mustafina that came out on top.
Madison Kocian, 19, was in the lead in the uneven bars after her impressive qualifications score of 15.866, but defending uneven bars champ Aliya Mustafina, 21, of Russia desperately wanted a gold medal to bring home after finishing with the bronze behind Madison’s teammates Simone Biles, 19, and Aly Raisman, 22, in the individual all-round competition on Aug. 11. Gabby Douglas, 22, was also on the hunt for her own individual Olympic medal to bring home, and in the end it turned out to be Aliya who came out on top after an amazing competition.
Madison was going to have to put up the same performance in the final that she did in the qualifiers because Aliya brought her A-game. Scoring a 15.900 just before Madison took the bars, Aliya made it tough for Madison to win. She did her best on the bars, but she didn’t quite overtake Aliya’s score with a 15.833. But hey, a silver medal at 19 years old is nothing to be upset about — and as part of the all-around winning “Final Five,” Madison is still bringing home a gold anyway!
Madison was highly favored going in to the event, as she was picked by U.S. team coordinator Marta Karolyi, 73, to join the team in Rio based primarily on her skills in the uneven bars. Her amazing score in the event helped the U.S. end up victorious in the women’s team all-around competition Aug. 9, giving our “Final Five” gold medals and the highest margin of victory in a major gymnastic meet in decades.
For Gabby the event was a chance at redemption after a week of image problems. First she made the disrespectful choice to not put her hand over her heart as the U.S. National Anthem played after their all-around win, even though her other four teammates made the patriotic gesture. She later was blasted for being a bad teammate and poor sport when she made a salty expression and refused to stand up and cheer on Simone as she won the individual women’s all-around event. The uneven bars was a chance to remind fans why she made the team in the first place!
HollywoodLifers, what did you think of Aliya’s epic win? Do you think she deserved the gold over Madison? Tell us below!