During the summer of 2016, the Summer Olympics were held in Rio. One particular sport that stood out and flooded social media was of course: Gymnastics.
There is no doubt that the key to the women’s US Gymnastics team’s success was not only great sportsmanship, but the deep connection and the friendship the girls developed is what really led them to victory. I recently read a great article from Sports Illustrated that really helped me to understand why our US team was victorious.
Gabby Douglas, Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, Laurie Hernandez, and Madison Kocian became what every gymnastics team wants to become. Between cheering each other on, performing right beside each other, being each other’s shoulder to cry on, and supporting each other- they became the definition of a team.
“The Final Five” worked their butts off to get to where they are. Douglas won the individual all-around gold five years ago in the 2012 London Olympics but prefers team competition over individual because she enjoys being with her other final four.
Here is the thing- it takes a lot of time, practice, effort, and dedication to be a gymnast and girls go through a lot of training through practice and camps all over the country to get guidance and advice from multiple coaches to help them perfect their routines.
There are different routes that girls have to go through in order to make it on the final US Olympic Gymnastics team, but during that process, the gymnasts get to know each other and become friends.
A famous US Gymnastics Olympic camp resides in Huntsville, Texas and is ran by Martha and Bela Karolyi along with the president and chief execute of USA Gymnastics, Bob Colarossi. This camp allows coaches to bring their gymnasts and coach them as if they were back in their own gym and the Karolyis are able to educate the coaches that come and visit.
What is cool about this as well is that the coaches are able to return to their home gym and put the feedback from the Karolyis to good use. Each of the”The Final Five” went to the Karolyis camp with their coaches as so did many other gymnasts hoping to make it to the Olympics.
This camp is well-known for bringing out the USA spirit in gymnasts, but before camps like the Karolyis came to play and private coaches were not easy to access, girl gymnasts across the country became depressed and could not perform to their full potential. This is because girls would have to move to different places in order to get a good coach that will help these girls achieve their goals, and even sometimes that was not good enough.
Luckily, the young gymnasts generation today has access to a lot of great coaches and a lot of things that are beneficial to get the gymnasts to where they have to be. “The Final Five” learned a lot from the Karolyis, and they can pass down their knowledge to gymnasts all over the world.
So, ask me again how the USA Gymnastics team dominated the Rio Olympics. It is because they decided they wanted to become a team together.
Photo Credit: TeamUSA.org