The 2012 Summer Olympics went out with last night’s star-studded, nostalgic Closing Ceremony. It’s been an emotional couple of weeks, welling up on a nightly basis while watching dreams come true from the comfort of our couches. To tie our Olympics coverage in a neat, hypnotizing bow, here’s a GIF wall of winners winning and inevitably treating us to victory dances, tears and triumphant cheers.
Good news first: Aly Raisman rocked the floor today on the last day of gymnastics competition in London. Aly became the first American woman ever to win the floor exercise at the Olympics, after increasing her degree of difficulty and shining in her routine to attain a score of 15.6. We’re always taken aback by incredible individuals like Aly. To execute skill and athleticism in such an immaculate way under pressure is just mind blowing. When asked how she was able to deliver a routine like that she said, “I felt like I had nothing to lose. It was going to be my last memory for London, so I just wanted to make it count and enjoy it.” As if earning the gold wasn’t enough, earlier in the day she won a bronze medal in the balance beam, which came after winning an appeal with the judges and then a tiebreaker with Catalina Ponor of Romania. (After she lost the tie-breaker for bronze in the all-around, this was a huge relief!)
And then there’s the bad news. We’re really happy Aly did so well, because the story wasn’t as happy for her teammates. All-around gold medalist Gabby Douglas had a disappointing day, finishing seventh on balance beam after a nasty fall. Yesterday, Gabby also failed to medal on the uneven parallel bars with a 14.900 score that left her in eighth place. The bars are supposed to be where Gaby really struts her stuff and where she got her nickname, “Flying Squirrel.”
McKayla Maroney is an adorable, sixteen-year-old girl who just so happens to be “far and away the best vaulter in the world.” Not a bad spot to be in before even being able to drive. The athlete is the US Gymnastics Team’s resident vault pro, and she’s so good that she was brought to the London games solely to compete on the vault. Her moves in the all-around competition were practically perfect (hence that gold medal hanging around her neck), and she’s competing today in the individual vault and is the obvious favorite to snag the top prize.
If her moves alone aren’t reason enough to love her, we’ve got a list of 9 other awesome things to adore about McKayla. If you don’t trust us, trust Lady Gaga — the singer wrote her the gushiest tweet we’ve ever seen.
The U.S. women’s gymnastics team has made us pretty damn proud to be Americans today. Sorry, the entire Internet spoiled what won’t air on TV until tonight, but spoiled it with amazing news! You can now officially jump for joy because the Fab Five have just won the gold medal in the gymnastics team final! This triumph marks the first time that the U.S. gymnasts will take home the team gold since the “Magnificent Seven” won in Atlanta’s 1996 Olympics. With impressive floor performances given by Jordyn Wieber, Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman, the team beat out both Russia and Romania with an overall score of 183.596. (Woo!!!)
To celebrate the team’s gold medal and give ourselves a little background on what winners look (and act) like, we have put together some of the best Olympic photos and tweets from these fabulous girls. Take a look and get ready to be stunned. Seriously, some of the positions they get themselves in are pretty unbelievable and make us realize just how uncoordinated and inflexible we are. If their moves aren’t enough to make you fall in love with them, these gymnasts’ fun, charming sides surely will.
Way to go, Fab Five! GO TEAM USA!
[Photo: Getty Images]