Four of the Final Five from Rio get hugs from Beyonce

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

NEW YORK (AP) — Four of the Final Five gymnastics greats from the Rio Olympics wished ailing teammate Gabby Douglas well and got hugs from best female video winner Beyonce on Sunday night at the MTV Video Music Awards.

Simone Biles, in a girly red mini dress, had an attack of the giggles as she shared the stage with Aly Raisman, Laurie Hernandez and Madison Kocian.

"The fifth member of our team, Gabby Douglas, is having medical issues and unfortunately couldn't make it tonight," Biles said. "Feel better Gabby!"

Douglas was in a hospital for treatment of a mouth infection from a previous injury, said her publicist, Lesley Burbridge.

The four took turns introducing Beyonce and her contenders for the award. Kocian said, "Together with our teammate Gabby we accomplished something bigger than ourselves."

Between them, the five won nine medals, breaking the record of eight won by the 1984 and 2008 USA women's gymnastics teams.

The team picked a nickname in keeping with an Olympic gymnastics tradition started at the 1996 games in Atlanta.

The meaning behind the Final Five: Starting with the Tokyo Games in 2020, women gymnastics squads reportedly will only be allowed four members, plus Rio was the last turn for Marta Karolyi, the national team coordinator for USA Gymnastics since 2001.

The Rio crew is the fifth team Karolyi has led to victory since 2001.

"The five women nominated for best female video worked hard to be on top of their games," Raisman said from the VMA stage. "They're role models for us as we hope to be to a younger generation of women."