08/19/2008 at 04:05 PM EDT
Never in a non-American summer Games has USA Gymnastics won so many
medals – and most of them belong to Texan Nastia Liukin.
By getting the silver on the balance beam Tuesday, Liukin tied
gymnastic greats Mary Lou Retton and Shannon Miller with five medals
in a single Olympics, including the gold in the all-around, three silver
and one bronze.
"I'm just on cloud nine," Liukin said after winning a silver on the
balance beam. "To say I have five medals at my first Olympic Games
means the world to me. And just having one gold is OK because it is
the one that means the most."
Meanwhile, teammate and roommate Shawn Johnson, of which so much was
expected, finally ended her Olympic experience on a happy note with a
gold on the balance beam.
"This moment feels better than I thought it
ever would because I've gone through a lot of hard times this week,"
Johnson said. "I fulfilled my dream and that means more to me than
Another lucky gymnast was Jonathan Horton, who earned a silver on the
horizontal bar in men's apparatus finals. "I hit the floor and I
looked at [coach] Mark [Williams] and I said, 'Do you believe what
just happened?'" said Horton. Then referring to mandatory drug
testing, Horton quipped, "Right now, I'm about to go pee in a cup. The
celebrations will be after that!"