Gabby Douglas earns America’s sweetheart title with all-around gold

For the third straight Olympics, the United States is the home to the women's all-around gymnastics champion. Gabrielle Douglas won the gold medal with a score of 62.232. The silver and bronze went to Russians Viktoria Komova and Aliya Mustafina.

Douglas hit on every routine, garnering a 15.966, her best score of the day, on the vault. It set the table for her to score a 15.733 on bars, 15.5 on beam, and a 15.033 on floor.

"I definitely had this amazing feeling. I just told myself, 'Believe. Don't fear, just believe.' I didn't really think about making mistakes," Douglas said to media after her win. "I just wanted to represent everyone, not just myself—Team USA, coaches, family. I wanted to show my best routines and just enjoy the moment."

With this win, Douglas instantly becomes America's sweetheart. Like Nastia Liukin and Carly Patterson before her, the all-around champ becomes the toast of the town. She also earned the honor of being the first African-American all-around champ. With a charming personality and easy smile, Douglas is ready for the spotlight.

It wasn't that way a year ago. When she competed at events early in 2011, she was often tentative. The talent was obviously there, but the confidence needed to hit a great vault or fly through a floor routine was not. But winning a team gold at the world championships lit a spark in Douglas.

[ Photos: Gymnastics all-around championship ]

Though not officially competing for the U.S. team at the American Cup in March, she beat reigning world champ Jordyn Wieber. She lost to Wieber by a fraction of a point at the Visa Championships but came back to beat her at the Olympic trials.

In London, Douglas has shown a focused, determined side. After going out of bounds during qualifications, she didn't make another major mistake. She competed on every apparatus during the team final, and contributed more than 61 points to the United States gold.

"I wasn't really watching the scores, I was just going out there trying to do my rountines the best I could and I did. I came out on top and I'm just so excited."

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