In a landslide victory, the US women’s gymnastics team, who named themselves ‘the Final Five’, cruised into victory this Tuesday, and landed gold.
The Final Five; Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, Laurie Hernandez, Madison Kocian and Aly Raisman displayed unparalleled performance and soared into Olympic history.
Observers say this year’s US squad is the best ever; the Final Five is drawing comparisons to the first gold medal squad, known as the Magnificent Seven from the 1996 games in Atlanta.
Since 1992 Olympic games, the US women’s gymnastics team has been on a medal streak.
Three-time gold medalist Douglas thanked her predecessors on her Instagram account: “These girls showed us how to get it done in #Atlanta1996 and we hope to follow in their footsteps in #Rio2016. Thank you #Magnificent7 for inspiring us and being great examples‼ You will always be our role models!”
The winning team says their name was inspired on the basis that they’re the last gymnasts to train under national team coordinator Martha Karolyi, who is retiring after Rio. In the next summer Olympic games in Tokyo, the gymnastics team competition will be fashioned into just four athletes.
Here is a breakdown of the success story since 1996:
“Before the Final Five tumbled into the record books, previous US squads captured medals and America’s attention. Here’s a look at how the teams fared, who their standout performers were and where they are now.
“The 2012 team with Mckayla Maroney, Kyla Ross, Alexandra Raisman, Gabby Douglas and Jordyn Wieber called itself the Fierce Five and won the gold.
“Douglas, the breakout star from the 2012 squad is now celebrating her third gold medal in Rio. Nicknamed “the Flying Squirrel,” she went from virtually unknown to being on the box of Corn Flakes after winning the all-around individual gold medal. She became the fourth American woman to do so. She and Raisman are both in Rio celebrating their second team gold.
“Maroney proved to be the meme of the Olympics that year after her not-impressed face went viral after placing second in the vaults.
“She is no longer in competing in gymnastics. She has turned to acting, appearing in a CW TV show “Heart of Dixie.” According to her Twitter bio, Maroney is pursuing acting and music as a recording artist.”
“The 2008 squad landed the silver medal, finishing behind China. The team consisted of Shawn Johnson, Nastia Liukin, Chellsie Memmel, Samantha Peszek, Alicia Sacramone and Bridget Sloan.
“Liukin ended up with the gold medal in the individual competition, becoming he third American to land the all-around Olympic title. Liukin graduated from NYU where she studied sports management. She has appeared on “Dancing with the Stars” and is providing commentary as the gymnastics analyst for NBC in Rio.”
“The 2004 women’s team finished with a silver medal finishing behind Romania. The team consisted of Mohini Bhardwaj, Annia Hatch, Terin Humphrey, Courtney Kupets, Courtney McCool and Carly Patterson.
“Patterson won the all-around gymnastics champion that year, becoming only the second American after Mary Lou Retton in 1984. She took home three medals from the competition in Athens. Patterson went on to pursue music, attended college and is now a speaker. She’s also in Rio as TeamUSA.org’s written correspondent.”
“In 2010, Team USA finished fourth at the Sydney games, but was bumped up to bronze 10 years later. The International Olympic Committee stripped China of its team bronze after concluding that one of its gymnast was under age at the time of the competition.
Dominique Dawes, Kristen Maloney, Amy Chow, Jamie Dantzscher, Elise Ray and Tasha Schwikert all received bronze medals in 2010.
“This is the legendary team that started it all; with a dramatic vault by Kerri Strug that NBC replays every time the Olympics come around.
“Coached by Karolyi, gymnasts Amanda Borden, Amy Chow, Dominique Dawes, Shannon Miller, Dominique Moceanu, Jaycie Phelps and Kerri Strug landed the first team gold in gymnastics for Team USA.”
Every subsequent US gymnastics team has been compared to the Magnificent Seven.