Perhaps no other American athlete experienced more dramatic highs and lows in quick order than Aly Raisman of the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team.
In the individual all-around competition, Raisman came in as the overall favorite. But she finished in fourth place with an overall score that matched the third place score by Russian rival Aliya Mustafina. The tie-breaking rules gave the Bronze Medal to Mustafina – leaving Raisman emotionally devastated.
There was little time for tears as the overall American squad (or the Fierce Five, as they’re now calling themselves on their current three month tour) had to compete for the team championship. In the team final, Raisman led her teammates to a first place finish.
With one fourth place finish and one Gold Medal already on her London 2012 resume, Raisman again found herself out of the running in fourth. Following an appeal by Raisman’s coaches, the judges adjusted the scores until Raisman again tied. This time, the tie-breaker worked in her favor, earning Raisman the Bronze.
That left only the floor final on the very pink Olympic performance mat. This time, Raisman offered no room for tie-breaks or debates, winning her first individual Gold Medal of the 2012 Summer Games. In short, she headed out of Olympic Park on top.
Now, Raisman and her teammates have little time to rest up or enjoy their success as the Fierce Five gear up for their three month exhibition tour. Before she left London, CraveOnline had a chance to connect with the gymnast and her double Golds during a post-Games press conference.
Raisman acknowledged she had a crazy Olympics, but she didn’t focus on any early negatives from her performance.
“I just remember when we first walked out for competition and seeing the Five Rings everywhere. It was amazing. We just stayed focus as a team. And the competition happened so quickly, I didn’t have time to think about it all too much.”
In what has been called the first Social Media Olympics, Raisman followed her Twitter and Facebook comments during the Games – within limits.
“I don’t get too into the comments that come in because some are creepy and mean. But I like to send photos of what the competition is like and what we see. On Twitter, I did go from 30,000 to more than 400.000 followers.”
In person, it didn’t seem like the locals were too intimidated by Raisman’s success.
“I didn’t get a lot of autograph requests,” Raisman said. “I did get requests for pictures and that was great to meet fans that way. We were all there for the same reason with the same goal. And it’s so hard to get there – I tried to take it all in and be grateful.”
Fortunately, when not winning medals, Raisman did find time to enjoy the Games.
“When I wasn’t competing, I did like Swimming and Beach Volleyball. I got to meet Princess Kate. She said she liked our leotards. And, of course, I talked to President Obama for five minutes. All five of us did. We just talked about how hard it was to get here and how cool it was to represent USA.”