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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

We're moving on now to the Olympics and a big moment today for American women's gymnastics. The so-called fab five has won America's first gold medal in team gymnastics in 16 years. Russia finished a distant second and Romania took the bronze medal. NPR's Tom Goldman was there and he joins us now from London. And, Tom, the U.S. won by more than five points. How did they do it?

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Strong performances from all five athletes throughout the competition: Jordan Wieber, Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman, Kyla Ross, McKayla Maroney. And they had a great start. Teams compete in four events. The first one for the U.S. was the vault, and the Americans in the vernacular stuck each one, in particular Maroney. Her vault was fantastic, and it gave the U.S. that initial emotional boost.

CORNISH: And there's a lot of focus on American Jordan Wieber going in today's finals. She's the reigning world champion in the individual all-around event. But earlier this week, she didn't make the finals in that event. Remind us why.

GOLDMAN: Yeah, she actually finished fourth among all gymnasts in the preliminaries, and that easily is good enough to qualify. But the U.S is so strong, she finished third among the Americans, and the rule says only two athletes from each country qualifies for - qualify for the finals of the individual all-around. And even Wieber said today that the rule stinks. She was distraught after that happened. And the question going in to today, would Wieber be able to overcome that disappointment and perform well in the team final?

CORNISH: So how'd she do?

GOLDMAN: She did great. She was the first American to perform in the vault, the U.S. first event. She did a great job. She also did well on the uneven bars and finished with a wonderful performance in the floor exercise. She said afterwards that after she failed to qualify for the individual all-around, she went in to a personal bubble in order to turn her attitude around. She obviously did that and definitely helped her team win today.

CORNISH: NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman speaking to us from London. Thanks so much, Tom.

GOLDMAN: You bet.

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