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Gabby Douglas Defeats Missy Franklin for Sportswoman of the Year: Fan Reaction

Yahoo Contributor Network

If there was one female athlete whose star power could have eclipsed that of Missy Franklin at the 2012 Olympic Games, it was gymnast Gabby Douglas.

And on Oct. 17, Douglas was rewarded once again for her performance at the 2012 Olympic Games when she was awarded the Women's Sports Foundation Sportswoman of the Year award. The award was given during the Women's Sports Foundation awards ceremony.

At the Games, Douglas won two Olympic golds, as she won the all around and was a member of the U.S. women's team to win gold. In claiming the top all-around spot, Douglas became the first woman in history to win the best-gymnast title without winning a medal in an individual event.

By comparison, Franklin won five Olympic medals and walked away from the Games with a world record in the 200-meter backstroke. Her Olympic medals came in the 100 backstroke (gold), 200-meter backstroke (gold), 4x200-meter freestyle relay (gold), 4x100-meter medley relay (gold) and 4x100-meter freestyle relay (bronze).

Franklin and Douglas -- who are both teenagers -- each turned in phenomenal performances at the Olympic Games. But was Douglas' performance superior to that of Franklin?

In order to win the all-around competition, Douglas had to be dominant in multiple apparatus, including floor, vault, bars and beam. In order for Franklin to win her medals, she had to be dominant in the freestyle and backstroke strokes.

It's difficult to argue that one teenager turned in a better performance than the other, especially when you consider the differences between the two sports. Forgive the cliché, but trying to compare Douglas' performance to Franklin's performance is like trying to compare apples to oranges.

Suffice it to say that both girls did an excellent job of representing their country while in London. The award could have been bestowed upon either Douglas or Franklin, as both athletes were deserving of the award.

As, likely, were the other nominees, who included tennis player Serena Williams, sprinter Allyson Felix, skier Lindsay Vonn and Paralympians Jessica Long and Tatyana McFadden.

Sandra Johnson was a competitive swimmer for more than 15 years before she began coaching. She is a longtime fan of Olympic sports, and while working for the United States Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs, Colo., she had the opportunity to immerse herself in the Olympic Movement. Follow her on Twitter: @SandraJohnson46

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