Aly Raisman helps power United States gymnastics team to Olympic gold


Simone Biles is one of the top names of all of the 2016 Rio Olympic athletes. They laughed together. And they barely looked up.

But, of course, it also symbolizes what this team just may turn out to be-the best United States gymnastics team of all time. Also on vault were Aly Raisman who earned a 15.833 and Simone Biles who earned a 15.933 for one of the best overall scores of the night. With a score of 184.897, they finished more than eight points ahead of second-place Russian Federation, a wide margin that solidified the Final Five as the true Dream Team of 2016. That was more than double the gap between silver and last place.

Japan (174.371) were fourth ahead of Great Britain (174.362), Germany (173.672), the Netherlands (172.447) and Brazil (172.087). The margin of victory is the biggest since at least 1972.

As expected, the United States have come away with yet another gold medal. [Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images] The highlight of the Final Five's performance on Day Four was the floor exercise.

So while that London team was getting used to being atop the podium, this group entered these Games as a virtual lock for gold and the expectations to match.

The 19-year-old is competing in her first Games, but is already considered by some to be the greatest female gymnast ever. "We'll have the morning off and a quick workout tomorrow and then it's just preparing and staying calm". "Go out with a bang", she said with a laugh.

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Brazilian superhero Rafaela Silva's judo gold represents the latest chapter in a fairytale rise for an athlete who hails from Rio's notorious City of God favela, one of the poorest and most unsafe neighborhoods in the country. Biles had the highest score of 15.933 despite making a hop on her landing, while; Raisman had a score of 15.833. Aly Raisman and Laurie Hernandez each competed on the vault, balance beam, and floor, and Madison Kocian and Gabby Douglas performed two almost flawless routines on the uneven bars. She posted top scores in three of the four rotations - floor exercise, vault and balance beam. They finished with Hernandez, Raisman and Biles delivering high-flying, engaging floor routines.

The Japanese squad, which also includes Sae Miyakawa and Yuki Uchiyama, had qualified for the team final with the seventh best total score in Saturday's qualifying.

They can add it to the many others they've been amassing. "It will hurt the spectacle, what the gymnasts can provide for the whole world, and would eliminate some of the strongest gymnasts just in our country", she told NBC Sports.

Her explosive and high-flying tumbling passes - which included her trademark soaring double layout with half twist at the end - had the Brazilian crowd roaring their approval and when she completed her final landing, it was not a case of if the US were champions, but by how much.

Douglas and Raisman made some history of their own.