Gymnastics is one of those Olympics sports that lots of people watch every four years, meaning whatever happens during the competition is exciting and surprising but also confusing. Who are these women? Which one is the underdog? The veteran? Who is good at what thing? How can I tell when a flippy thing was good? Relax. Let the expert fans at The Atlantic Wire explain.
The Underdog: Gabby Douglas. Douglas is perfect for the underdog role — bubbly personality, amazing backstory. (She left her family in Virginia Beach to train in Iowa, and her father was deployed to Afghanistan last year.) Expect a lot of sappy NBC mini-bios scored with melodramatic piano music to focus on Douglas. (These are called fluffs on the gymternet.) Douglas only became a star in the last few months, and won the Olympic trials Sunday night.
What she’s good at: Douglas is technically strong on all the events, but she shines on bars. She’s most known for this, called a piked Tkachev, as seen in this image via the excellent Tumblr Gymnastics GIFs. It’s good because she gets such incredible height.
And she also pirouettes beautifully like this:
And when she won trials, she celebrated by doing the Dougie, via Aaron Meier: