From start to finish, ‘The Fab Five’s” Tuesday night performance was magical. Here are the four lasting images from the American Women Gymnastics’ 2nd team gold medal in history, and 1st since 1996.
Jordyn Wieber’s redemption
On Sunday, it was a struggle to watch Jordyn Wieber break into tears as her dreams of becoming the Olympic all-around champion crumbled. It was a major disappointment for the 2011 World Champion, one leaving people speculating how she would respond when team USA needed her the most. On Tuesday, she crushed those doubts. Wieber, who was first to perform, set the tone for the night right away with probably her best vault ever. Upon landing, a wide-smile broke out across her face. That moment every human being, gymnastics fan or USA fan or whomever, had to be cheering. It was a shining moment for Wieber and Team USA. She also performed strong in uneven bars and floor exercise.
McKayla Maroney’s Vault
The one-event wonder, McKayla Maroney, starred in her role. She performed for less than ten seconds on Tuesday night, but no doubt made her mark on the Team USA’s gold medal run. Brimming with confidence and fire, Maroney delivered a nearly flawless vault where she was almost two feet higher in the air than any other gymnast. She stuck the landing straight on…and redefined the word “Amazing” in doing so. To say the least, Maroney was born to vault. Her near perfect score helped Team USA take the lead after the first rotation, and they never gave it back.
Aly Raisman and The Finish
Aly Raisman needed one solid routine on floor exercise to seal the gold medal for the USA. She delivered it with ease, beaming with smiles and confidence on each graceful flip. As Raisman landed her final flip, her eyes began to water up, as the realization of winning the gold medal sunk in. A few minutes later, she and her teammates all locked hands as they stared up at the scoreboard to make their win official. The image was a symbol of the complete team effort it took to accomplish such a great feat. When the results did appear, all the emotions began to pour out. From the jumping to the screaming…from the tears to the cheering…it was perfect. Each girl poured in hours, days, and years into this, and to see their dreams materialize stole America’s heart.
Inspiring the Next Generation
After winning the team gold medal, “The Fab Five” were in studio with NBC host Bob Costas. He asked each one of them what inspired their dream to become an Olympic gymnast. Each “Fab Five” member pointed to either 2004 USA Olympic gymnast Carly Patterson or the 1996 “Magnificent Seven”, the only other American Women team to win team gold. As kids they watched and rewatched hours of their idol team or gymnasts’ performances wanting to one day do the same thing in the Olympics. With their emotional and remarkable performance on Tuesday night, “The Fab Five” are poised to inspire the next generation of American gymnasts.