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Historic Win for U.S. Gymnast Douglas; U.K. Claims Its First Gold of the Games

August 2, 2012 at 12:00 AM EDT
Gabby Douglas became the first woman of color to win an Olympic gold medal for the women's all-around in gymnastics. The United Kingdom took home three gold medals, its first since the games began. And Rafalca, a horse owned by Mitt and Ann Romney, competed in the first day of dressage. Jeffrey Brown reports.
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JEFFREY BROWN: We head back to London tonight for an Olympics update on what turned out to be a significant day for the American team.

As always, a spoiler alert: Here come some of the day’s results.

Day six of the Olympics brought new triumph for a diminutive American gymnast. Sixteen-year-old Gabby Douglas won the women’s individual all-around, the first woman of color ever to claim that title. It was her second gold medal of the Games.

U.S. swimmers had another big day. Rebecca Soni won the women’s 200-meter breaststroke with a world record time. Tyler Clary took the men’s 200-meter backstroke, with fellow American Ryan Lochte winning bronze. And Michael Phelps increased his all-time record haul of Olympic medals to 20, taking gold in the men’s 200-meter individual medley. Lochte took the silver medal.

Also making history was Kayla Harrison, who won the United States’ first gold in Olympic judo. Britain, too, had more cause to enjoy these Games.

MATTHEW BATTLE, United Kingdom: I think G.B. will get a gold in the rowing. And, hopefully, we will get some other golds in, I don’t know — where else? I don’t where else we’re up for golds.

MAN: There are just golds everywhere, surely.

MATTHEW BATTLE: So I think it will get better and better.

JEFFREY BROWN: And it did. British athletes won events in sharpshooting and men’s cycling today. The host country claimed its first gold of the games yesterday, in women’s pair rowing.

And Tour de France hero Bradley Wiggins followed with gold in the men’s individual time trials. Wiggins tweeted later that he was getting drunk to celebrate and was defended by the head of the British Olympic Association.  

COLIN MOYNIHAN, British Olympic Association: You know, a number of people have commented, I think wrongly, this morning that he wasn’t entitled to go out and really enjoy himself yesterday evening. I am of the group who says he’s absolutely, thoroughly entitled to have a fantastic party and celebrate. And nobody deserves it more.

JEFFREY BROWN: Not celebrating is Chinese badminton star Yu Yang. She and seven other players were disqualified yesterday for trying to lose to gain weaker opponents in future rounds.

Today, Yu posted an online message that read: “This is my last game. Farewell, Badminton World Federation. Farewell, my dear badminton.”

The Chinese team’s coach had already apologized on state television.

LI YONGBO, Chinese badminton Olympic coach: (through translator): Most importantly, I think, is we didn’t take each competition seriously and follow the Olympic spirit of higher, faster and stronger as professional athletes. We didn’t fully demonstrate the fighting spirit of the Chinese badminton team.

JEFFREY BROWN: Also gaining some unusual attention today, a horse named Rafalca, taking part in the first day of team dressage.

Owner Ann Romney, the presidential hopeful’s wife, said she was thrilled, as mare and rider turned in the best U.S. showing.