It's a polish Douglas had in abundance in becoming the first African-American to win the Olympic all-around title. The subsequent hoopla left her drained for event finals. She was last on uneven bars on Monday and 24 hours later was a non-factor in the beam final after an uncharacteristic fall.
"If it wasn't my time to shine, it wasn't my time to shine," Douglas said. "Overall I think the competition went really well. I wanted to finish off on a good note. Event finals is something a little extra."
The U.S. finished with six medals in all, a solid number but four less than the 2008 team captured. Not that it matters, not after the group of teenagers stormed to victory in the team competition to give the Americans their first Olympic title in 16 years.
"I feel it was extremely successful," Karolyi said. "It showed the power of this young generation and showed the mental toughness of this whole team. I can't wish for anything more."
The men certainly could. The group that made its motto "One Team, One Dream" ended up walking away with just one medal, the bronze earned by Danell Leyva in the all-around.
Leyva and teammate Jon Horton put together solid sets in the high bar final on Tuesday, but finished well behind gold medalist Epke Zonderland of The Netherlands, whose jaw-dropping score of 16.533 after a breathtaking display left Horton — who had to go next — laughing.
"He makes my routine not so cool anymore," Horton said.
Expect Horton to work on that. The 26-year-old team captain plans to work toward the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro. He expects teammates Leyva, Sam Mikulak, John Orozco and Jake Dalton — all 21 or younger — to stick around too.
There's more uncertainty surrounding one of the most decorated U.S. women's teams of all time. While 15-year-old Kyla Ross and 16-year-olds Douglas and McKayla Maroney could compete for awhile, the future is a bit cloudier for Raisman and Wieber.
Wieber begins her senior year of high school in the fall, and Raisman has already graduated. They both plan to stay in training, but projecting four months down the road — much less four years — is difficult.
Karolyi believes all five team members can continue to compete if they stay healthy but will understand if they don't. They've already reached the top for their sport. Anything else is just gravy.
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