Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): North Greenwich Arena, Greenwich, London
Date Started: July 29, 2012
Date Finished: July 31, 2012
As the reigning World Champions, the women's gymnastics team from the United States was favored for the gold medal in the all-around event at the 2012 Summer Olympics. The defending Olympic champions, China, were also a threat, having won bronze at the last two World Championships, as were the Russians, 2010 World Champions and 2011 runners-up. The Romanian team, Olympic champions from 2000 and 2004, were another potential challenger, completing a foursome of squads that were in a class of their own in Olympic competition. In fact, if the 1992 Unified Team and the Soviet Union are considered precursors to the Russian team, then these four nations had won the event in every edition of the Olympic Games since 1948, when Czechoslovakia had taken the gold.
The qualification round went as expected, with the United States, Russia, China, and Romania placing first through fourth. Rounding out the bottom half were Great Britain, Japan, Italy, and Canada, but they were not expected to challenge the front runners. The United States took an early lead in the finals and never relinquished it, winning gold for the first time since 1996. Russia's chances of coming out on top, meanwhile, ended when Anastasiya Grishina stopped in the middle of her floor routine and did not complete it. The Russians finished in second, ahead of Romania, who took home the bronze medal following a series of errors by the Chinese team, most notably Deng Linlin's fall from the balance beam.