Posted July 29, 2012 on
AP on Fox
Aly Raisman tried to be OK with it, tried to smile, say all the right things and be the good teammate that's made her easily the most reliable American gymnast over the last three years.
The 18-year-old U.S. Olympic team captain never complained when the cameras focused on world champion and good friend Jordyn Wieber. She didn't pout when Gabby Douglas' electric smile made the shadow Raisman spent so much time in even bigger.
Instead, Raisman did what she's always done. She kept working. More importantly, she kept believing.
And with one typically steady floor routine during Olympic team qualifying on Sunday, the sidekick became the star.
Raisman's score of 15.325 on floor gave her a total of 60.391, slipping past Douglas for the top performance by an American and making best friend Wieber the odd girl out of Thursday's individual all-around final.
''Aly's success today just proves that hard work pays off,'' U.S. coach Martha Karolyi said. ''She's one of the most serious and hardest-working girls in training. So finally it came true, and she was able to perform at the (highest) level.''
The result sent shockwaves through the O2 Arena and the U.S. team, and left Raisman and Wieber in tears, for entirely different reasons.
The rules allow only two gymnasts per country to make the all-around finals, and for months it seemed Douglas and Wieber were on course to repeat the duel Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin staged in Beijing four years ago.
Douglas did the cover of Time magazine. Wieber graced the front of US Weekly. When the entire team got together for a Sports Illustrated photo shoot, it featured Douglas in the middle flanked by Wieber and a seemingly ''thrilled to be here'' Raisman.
Sure, Raisman happily accepted the mantle of captain as the team's oldest and most experienced gymnast, but she was also the security blanket. Though Raisman's metronome-like consistency earned Karoyli's respect and admiration, the soft-spoken kid from Needham, Mass., lacks Douglas' flash and Wieber's tenacity.
In a sport that embraces grace, Raisman performs with the kind of grit that would make her fit right in with her beloved Boston Bruins. Her beam routines are rock solid, the sound of her feet hitting the four-inch-wide wood echoing through the gym. Her floor sets are practical, not progressive.
It's a style that is perfect for team competition but not always designed to stand out, even as Raisman became the bedrock of a U.S. team expected to win gold for the first time since 1996.
Did the lack of attention get to her? How could it not? She's got three world championship medals but spent most of her career as an afterthought.
''It bothers you sometimes,'' said Mihai Brestayn, Raisman's coach. ''I tried to avoid that. I tried to protect her. But they have feelings like everybody else.''
Raisman insists she had no problem being out of the limelight. Wieber's a champion. Douglas is a natural who is perhaps the most talented gymnast of her generation.
''I was OK with being under the radar because I just felt more calm going into this,'' Raisman said. ''I didn't feel the pressure. I just wanted to do it more for myself and my coaches because we've been working so hard together. I really felt real confident that I could get my goal.''
And to be honest, when it came down to it, Raisman could never quite seize the moment. The only meets she won over the last three years were ones Douglas and Wieber either skipped or used as tune-ups.
Yeah, she took the all-around at the U.S. Classic in Chicago in May, but Douglas opted not to vault, and Wieber worked only on uneven bars and balance beam.
Raisman was third at nationals in June and third again at trials a month ago and appeared to be on the verge of getting passed by newcomers like Kyla Ross and Elizabeth Price. The top of the podium seemed to be getting further out of reach.
Until, suddenly, it wasn't.
It didn't look like Raisman was in the middle of the ''meet of her life,'' as U.S. assistant coach John Geddert put it through two rotations. Her vault was the lowest of the four Americans. Her bars score too.
Raisman found her footing on beam - she always does - with a 15.1. Still, it looked as if she would be out of the all-around mix until Douglas and Wieber faltered on floor, both taking steps out of bounds.
No such mistakes from Raisman. After years of playing second or third fiddle, she responded with typical relentlessness. In the span of 75 nearly flawless seconds, Raisman proved she belonged.
She placed her hands over her mouth in wonder when she realized what happened, the moment the girl next door became a force to be reckoned with.
''This is what we've been working toward,'' Brestayn said. ''This is what she deserves.''
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AROUND THE WEB
Being an Olympic athlete is hard -- imagine how hard it is to be an athlete's parent? America was introduced to the parents of U.S. gymnast Aly Raisman on Sunday night, and their wild reactions to their daughter's routine won over the hearts of millions across the land. It also had the side effect, according to NESN Nation's Dan Duquette, of imploring athletes everywhere...
Any parents watching their children perform may feel nervous, but the Raismans took that to all new levels on Sunday. Lynn and Ricky Raisman, parents of U.S. Women's Gymnastics team captain Aly Raisman, were full of emotions as they watched their daughter during the qualification round in London. Their reaction was almost as entertaining as Raisman's actual routine. Check...
EDGE OF THEIR SEATS
USA gymnast Aly Raisman‘s parents look intense they are on a roller coaster ride watching daughter perform. This is one of the most intense parent reactions I have ever seen and much more interesting then the actual routine!
Alexandra Rose ”Aly“ Raisman (born May 25, 1994) is an American artistic gymnast and is a member of the team representing the USA at the 2012 Summer...
Aly Raisman is a member of the USA women's gymnastics team and is a little more well known today for making it into the all around finals and for her parents reaction to her routine on the un-even bars last night. Aly's parents look like they are in the middle of being on a roller coaster and watching the 2 girls one cup video. Check them out in the video below for...
A lot of moms get carried away watching their son or daughter in a youth soccer game for the local recreation league, so we can imagine what watching your child compete in the Olympics must be like. This is no doubt as stressful a time for the parents of athletes in London as it is for the actual competitors. Fortunately for us, some parents handle the stress in hilarious fashion...
USA gymnast Aly Raisman’s parents are going through their own gymnastics routine while watching their daughter compete during the Olympics, a gymnastics routine of emotions. Check out the reactions that the parents express throughout the routine, it will make you want to grab a Makers on the rocks and a couple Xanax.
via The Daily What
Article found on: Cosby Sweaters
Best gymnast in the world in 2012 just got outclutch'd by a teammate. If only Raisman could have released Walter White's "I Won" at the end of the NBC interview. [Follow me @TravisHouser]
PS - Have to believe the judges based their points on looks in the end.
Aly Raisman can almost feel the eyes on her as she and her U.S. gymnastics teammates finish their training session. Sure enough, she'll look up and see a couple of heads in the doorway.
Russians, usually. Sometimes the Romanians.
''We always try and do a little better,'' Raisman said with the hint of a smirk, ''maybe intimidate them a bit.''...
The U.S. women’s gymnastics team recaptured Olympic glory Tuesday after winning its first gold medal since the Magnificent Seven’s reign at the 1996 Atlanta Games. Team USA’s Jordyn Wieber, Kyla Ross, Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney earned a combined score of 183.596 over second-place Russia, which earned 178.530. Romania came in third with 176.414 points and...
American gymnast Aly Raisman earned a gold medal for her athletic prowess in London. It's her mom who's gone viral.
NBC's video of Lynn Raisman watching her daughter perform on the uneven bars Sunday, with her nervous murmurs and face and body contortions, was the single most replayed moment on Tivo digital video recorders that night. It has even inspired a YouTube spoof...
US gymnast Aly Raisman qualified for the Womens All-Around final. Her parents did two things: (1) watched from the crowd, (2) reminded me to think about how lucky I am the next time my parents barely pay attention to me. (via Bob’s Blitz)- Follow us on Twitter @withleather - Follow me personally @MrBrandonStroud and Burnsy @MayorBurnsy - Like us on Facebook.LinksMeme Watch: Unimpressed...
For the first time since Kerri Strug nailed her final vault attempt on one good ankle in 1996, the U.S. Women’s Gymnastic’s team are the best in the world once again.
Gabby Douglas, Jordyn Wieber, Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney and Kyla Ross easily captured the team gold medal Tuesday from the London Summer Olympics holding off Russia who ended up taking the silver.
What kind of sick joke is Female Olympic Gymnastics? It’s like Lebron, D-Wade, and Bosh trying to win the NBA Championship while individually secretly hoping each of the other two guys sucks so he can win MVP.
This is what happened this weekend with the US Female Gymnastics. While the team was competing together, they were individually competing with each other for spots in individual...