Aug. 19, 2004
Carly Patterson finished her floor routine and went to celebrate with her coaches and teammates.
All that was left to do was wait.
When the judges revealed her event-high 9.712, excitement filled the air. Patterson finished the gymnastics all-around final with a meet-high 38.327, besting Russia’s Svetlana Khorkina and becoming the first woman from the United States to take home gold in the all-around since Mary Lou Retton in 1984.
After pacing the field in qualifying rounds, Patterson translated her early Olympic domination into the finals.
The 16-year-old Patterson had the highest marks in the 24-woman field on floor and the balance beam (9.725), while finishing fifth on the vault (9.375) and seventh on the uneven parallel bars (9.575).