Photo courtesy of www.abcnews.go.com
Now that the Olympics are over, I’m sure most are familiar with the name Simone Biles. An African- American teenager took the gymnastic world by storm with her impeccable technique and personality during the 2016 Rio Olympic games.
Biles, 19 ,from Spring, Texas is a three time all around world champion, and took home the All Around Event Gold this year. She is said by many in the gymnastics world to be the the greatest female gymnast ever.
Her favorite event is the vault although she has a flip-move named after her on the floor event called “The Biles” (which only she can do of course.)
Gabby Douglas, also African-American attended her second Olympics. She was the first U.S. athlete to win both team and All Around gold medals in London 2012.
However, Douglas received major backlash in the 2012 London Olympics for her weave. And people also gave her grief this time in Rio for not placing her hand over her heart during the national anthem.
I think in an industry where you are already judged on your sport, to turn around and insult her appearance was just too much and it showed.
Douglas performed very well and still helped the U.S. team win gold.
We should be thankful young black girls get to grow up and see themselves represented in a sport that is not so diverse on a major platform.
Aly Raisman, 22, is a returning Olympian from the London games. She was apart of the Fierce Five with Douglas, and was a team captain again in the Rio Olympics.
Raisman is Jewish and grew up in Massachusetts, she started gymnastics at just 18 months old. She has three younger siblings, and an amazing support system for her parents. Memes were made of her parents as they nervously watch her perform.
Praised for her floor routine, she won gold for it in London, and brought home the silver in All Around in Rio, and silver in floor exercise.
Madison Kocian attended her first Olympics this year, and won silver for the Uneven Bars. Her role in the team medals put the team way ahead to win gold.
Kocian also won gold for the World Championship in 2015 for Uneven Bars. She has attended the same gymnastics school as Nastia Liukin (U.S. Olympic vet) and plans on attending UCLA in the fall.
Last but not least, Laurie Hernandez appeared in her first Olympics with Kocian. Being only 16 years old, she was the youngest on the team.
Hernandez is from New Jersey and is the first Puerto Rican woman to make the U.S. Olympic Gymnastics team. She helped the team win All Around on the Balance Beam, and took home silver for the beam in the individual trial.
It was exciting to see the achievements of such a diverse team that won gold or silver in nearly every event and supported one another to achieve gold as a team. I was extremely proud.