5:19 p.m. ET: The five girls got up on the platform, put their hands in the middle and did a cheer, revealing their name: “Final Five.”
5:19 p.m. ET: USA won by over 8 points. This is a huge margin when the margin between second and third was just over 0.5 points. Tons of hugs for the girls from their coaches.
5:17 p.m. ET: Simone Biles gets a 15.8, better than qualifying round, too. They are gold medal winners! Russia is in second, and China is third.
5:15 p.m. ET: Lots of USA fans on their feet giving Simone a standing ovation because she definitely just got us the gold. “USA, USA, USA,” cheers are starting up again!
5:12 p.m. ET: Aly also beats her qualifying score with a 15.366! Are we going to win by even more than 10 points today?!
Team USA is starting to look really, really happy.
5:10 p.m. ET: “USA! USA!” cheers ring through the building as Aly steps off the floor. Obviously, Brazil has one-upped us with their loud Brazil clapping chant.
All the girls, minus Simone who is about to compete, are staring at the screen waiting for Aly’s score.
5:08 p.m. ET: Everyone is clapping along to Aly’s floor music!
5:06 p.m. ET: Laurie gets a 14.833, slightly up from the qualifying round.
5:04 p.m. ET: Laurie on floor makes Us sad we won’t get to see her wow like this in individual finals!
5:00 p.m. ET: Rotation four is half over and Netherlands is officially out of medal contention (not that they ever had a chance). Audience applauds for them for their effort.
It feels fitting that Team USA is warming up on the floor to Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk,” with lyrics like, “Don’t believe me just watch!”
4:59 p.m. ET: Madison and Gabby are up and ready to cheer for USA on the floor! Let’s take it home Team USA!
4:42 p.m. ET: It was worth the wait for China because they are now second to USA. However, they are still almost 5 points behind. Third place is Japan, and according to the announcers here, they have never have stood on the Olympic podium as a team, so that’s exciting — but still one more rotation to go!
4:38 p.m. ET: China’s final beam score in rotation three is taking forever. Team USA is getting anxious to move on to the floor!
4:37 p.m. ET: At the end of rotation three of four, USA is in the lead with 138.898.
Aly is holding her athletic tape. Before the Olympics she posted a cute Instagram poking fun at how much tape she uses (and how little tape teammate Simone Biles uses!).
4:26 p.m. ET: Aly has the cutest USA leg warmers that she’s put on as she waits for the rotation to wrap up. One is red and one is blue and they both say USA!
4:21 p.m. ET: Simone is awarded a 15.3, which keeps USA in first place. But the third rotation isn’t over yet.
4:19 p.m. ET: It looks like captain Aly is saying something reassuring and congratulatory to Simone as they sit together on the floor waiting for Simone’s scores.
Coach Mihai Brestyan, who works with Aly, gives the girls a few congratulatory claps.
4:18 p.m. ET: Simone just wobbled, and the crowd reacted with an “ooooh.” She finished beautifully, but I think people were just surprised to see any visible error from Simone.
4:17 p.m. ET: Gabby gives Simone a cheer as she gets up on beam — cute!
4:16 p.m. ET: Aimee and Simone chat as they wait for Simone’s turn on the beam. Aimee told Us sometimes she’ll crack jokes while they’re waiting. We can’t hear Simone giggling, so they must be discussing something else.
Laurie waits for her scores with Aly. She gets a 15.233.
4:14 p.m. ET: This crowd really seems to like Laurie!
Before Simone gets on beam, she and Aimee take a close look at it and Aimee brushes off some extra chalk.
4:13 p.m. ET: Laurie’s coach, Maggie Haney, gives her some last words of wisdom before she gets up on the beam!
Aly was solemn as she waited for her score and seemed out of breath. But she blew a kiss to the audience before she got a 15.000.
4:10 p.m. ET: And Aly is without any obvious flaws on beam, phew! Aimee gives her a big hug once she finishes.
4:07 p.m. ET: Aly leads the team to beam and shakes her legs out as she waits to warm up.
Aly jumps on the beam first to warm up. There was a slight wobble. Hopefully this means she got all wobbles out of the way before the competition starts!
Coach Aimee Boorman watched closely as Simone warms up on the beam. Simone sticks her landing as she dismounts and warm ups end.
4:04 p.m. ET: USA has moved into a much more comfortable lead — more than 4 points ahead of China. Russia trails China by less than 0.5. Team USA is so good!
4:03 p.m. ET: Nothing makes this Brazilian crowd happier than when their team sticks their landing. We’re looking at you, Flávia Saraiva, on the floor!
3:59 p.m. ET: Madison gets a 15.933 and the U.S. remains in first place! That’s even better than Madison did during the qualifying round!
3:57 p.m. ET: Madison does just as incredible on bars as she did on Sunday. Hope the judges agree!
3:56 p.m. ET: Gabby gets a 15.766! You go, girl!
3:55 p.m. ET: Gabby takes a deep breath before she goes out. Wow, that girl can fly on bars.
3:54 p.m. ET: Naturally, Simone does amazing in her bar routine — even with the Brazilian fans going wild for Team Brazil’s Jade Barbosa on floor exercise. The crowd loves Simone, but they really love Jade. “Brazil! Brazil! Brazil!” chants are filling the stadium. Simone gets a 14.8.
3:51 p.m. ET: Simone is first to warm up on the bars. She finishes quickly, making way for Madison and Gabby to get the most out of the quick 90 second warm up! Gabby does hers in 30 seconds and nails her landing. Hope it looks just like that in competition! Madison goes a little over warm up time and looks ready to do as well as she did during the preliminaries on Sunday.
3:48 p.m. ET: The uneven bars are being prepared for Team USA. Head coach Aimee Boorman is chalking it like crazy.
3:41 p.m. ET: Laurie comes over to Aly, who is stretching while the Chinese compete on bars in front of her. The two sit down to watch together (but Aly’s priority is definitely stretching!).
3:38 p.m. ET: Gabby is furiously taping her hands to get ready for what should be an impressive bar performance.
3:34 p.m. ET: Laurie and Aly aren’t on bars, so they’re just doing quick handstands to stay warm on the side. They make it look so easy!
3:33 p.m. ET: Simone Biles is leading the girls to the uneven bars. She is walking with confidence (and she should!).
3:31 p.m. ET: After rotation one, USA is in first, Russia in second and Great Britain in third.
3:24 p.m. ET: Madison is being warmed up by her coach right now. She’s doing arm exercises to get ready to stun on uneven bars.
3:19 p.m. ET: The Russian team is only 0.7 points behind USA. Not liking this!
3:17 p.m. ET: Aly has taken a blue ball from her bag and appears to be rolling out her legs before the ladies move over to uneven bars, which Aly is not competing in.
3:15 p.m. ET: The girls seem a bit more solemn today. Of course, they are being respectful of the other competitors, but where are those giggles?!
3:13 p.m. ET: We know Aly Raisman loves pin trading (Simone Biles told Us!) and we can see that she brought some on her athlete credential to the competition today. Wonder if she’ll trade for more once the girls win their much deserved gold.
3:12 p.m. ET: Simone Biles goes SKY HIGH on her vault. It’s crazy to watch. After she finished Laurie and Gabby clapped for her. The girls all sit together while Simone waits for her score. Gabby is watching the Chinese team who are now on vault. Simone gets a 15.933, damn.
3:10 p.m. ET: Aly Raisman did such a cute little skip before her vault. She nailed it and she knows it. She stuck that landing and was greeted with hugs from her teammates. She looked relieved. This was her VERY difficult Amanar vault. She got a 15.833, and she should be thrilled. She’s smiling!
3:08 p.m. ET: Laurie Hernandez is a star — tiny hop at the end of her vault, but otherwise an amazing vault. She stretched a bit as she awaited her score of 15.
Also, Gabby’s lipstick is fierce!
3:00 p.m. ET: Our girls are in the house!!! Sparkles are on point! Thunderous applause for Simone Biles in the house — everyone at the Olympics knows this girl’s name.
There were no boos for Russia’s team unlike swimming.
2:52 p.m. ET: The announcers are saying today will be history in the making, and note that Team USA is “expected to win!”
2:50 p.m. ET: The announcers are, of course, giving Nadia Comaneci a shoutout for her first perfect 10 at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. Simone Biles and the rest of Team USA won’t be competing for perfect 10s today as the scoring has changed in gymnastics, but it’s nice to reminisce.
2:48 p.m. ET: This dance show is like a mini opening ceremony for the most anticipated event, other than maybe Michael Phelps’ last swim! The dance has taken us through the rainforest and all of the Rio landmarks. People in the stadium loved it!
2:45 p.m. ET: The pre-show is starting! Lights are off in Rio Olympic Arena and a Brazilian dance troupe has hit the floor. No other event we’ve been to yet has had a pre-show (swimming, c’mon!). There’s really cool lighting on the gym floor that makes us feel like we’re in a rainforest. Brazil is sure giving the rainforest a lot of love this Olympics!
Original story below
They’re bending over backward to win this! The women’s gymnastics team final of the 2016 Rio Olympics starts on Tuesday, August 9, at 3 p.m. ET, as overwhelming favorite Simone Biles, captain Aly Raisman and the rest of Team USA strive for consecutive gold medals.
The top eight countries from the preliminaries — USA, China, Russia, Great Britain, Brazil, Germany, Japan and the Netherlands — pick their three strongest gymnasts for each event. The U.S. lineup includes all five gymnasts with Biles competing in every category. Here’s who you’ll see on each rotation:
-Vault: Laurie Hernandez, Raisman and Biles
-Uneven bars: Biles, Gabby Douglas and Madison Kocian
-Balance beam: Raisman, Hernandez and Biles
-Floor exercise: Hernandez, Raisman and Biles
The final (with every single gymnast’s performance) is available to watch via the NBC Olympics site or NBC Sports app. All the highlights will air on NBC during its prime time Olympics coverage.
However, this isn’t the last you’ll see of the U.S. women gymnasts. The top 24 overall qualify for the individual all-around final on Thursday, August 11. While the U.S. had the top three all-around finishers, only two from each country are allowed to move on to the final, meaning Biles and Raisman will appear for the U.S. and Douglas will be unable to defend her title as the reigning all-around champ.
Us Weekly’s senior reporter Cara Sprunk is liveblogging all the action from Rio. Follow along with Us!
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