Any athlete, when it comes to finishing, would want to do so in a positive manner. Some go out a winner but not with style, while others demonstrate style but unable to win. For Aly Raisman, she finished the Olympics both as a winner and with style.
Raisman, the United States captain, won the title on floor exercise Tuesday and matched Gabby Douglas in gold medals. Out of the Fierce Five, Raisman is the most decorated when you add in the bronze she received on balance beam from earlier in the day. She might as well be featured today on center stage because the rest of the Americans came up empty-handed. For Douglas, after a fall, had another rough day and finished seventh on the balance beam. As for world champion Jordyn Wieber, she was voted most likely to leave the Olympics with the biggest haul; Jordyn finished seventh on the floor and goes home without any individual medals.
When taking a closer look at Raisman, one can tell she does not have Douglas’ bubbly personality or Wieber’s resume, however, it was her steadiness and consistency that helped her to succeed in London. Raisman’s floor routine had an extra spark to it, perhaps energized by her surprise bronze on the beam. Her tumbling passes were some of the most difficult, and she achieved such a great height on them that you could have parked a double-decker bus beneath her. Her landings were not secure but one was so powerful it practically shook the floor. Her coach, Mihai Brestyan, was ecstatic and began hoping up and down and pumped his fist as she finished. Even Raisman was impressed with herself, mouthing “wow” after she saluted the judges. Her teammate, McKayla Maroney, was so impressed by Raisman’s performance that when her score, 15.6, was posted, she yelled “whoa!” so loudly from the stands it could be heard from across the arena.
They say good things come to those who wait and for Aly Raisman, her wait is over. It was a wait that seemed endless with her finishing so many times in fourth place. It was a wait that went from another finishing in fourth place to an appeal that would give her a bronze medal. It was a wait that made her go from doubting herself to having confidence in knowing she can do better than fourth place.
That confidence grew more and more as she waited 90 minutes for the floor-exercise competition to begin. It was a wait that lasted until five other gymnasts finished their routines and as the reigning world champion Sandra Izbasa landed her final tumbling run on her head, Raisman let herself exhale. And smile.
The wait was finally over and while the end resulted in Aly winning a gold medal, it was more in the eyes of Marta Karolyi, the coordinator of the U.S. gymnastics program. Raisman won a gold medal in the floor, made possible, on review, by the bronze she mined from the beam. ‘‘Justice was made,’’ Marta Karolyi said. ‘‘And certainly psychologically, it was a great moment for Aly. I met her up there at the beam, and I told her, ‘I see these fantastic sparkling eyes again.’ I was sure she would do a good job on floor.’’ She did.
Aly Raisman Floor 2012 Gold
Aly Raisman wins Olympic Gold Medal on Floor Routine 2012.
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