From an article by Kelly Whiteside, USA TODAY
Aly Raisman hugged coach Mihai Brestyan on Tuesday after competing in the floor exercise, which she won.
For Raisman, who will leave London with three medals, the most of any American gymnast here, these Games were a jumble of emotions. There was joy: Raisman became the first U.S. woman to win an Olympic gold on floor on Tuesday after she performed what she called the best floor routine of her life, to the music of “Hava Nagila.”
“To have it be at the Olympic games in the finals, is just really amazing and just a dream come true. That’s what you work for your whole life,” she said. This, after the USA won team gold for the first time since 1996.
There was confusion: In the balance beam finals on Tuesday, Raisman initially finished fourth. After her coach filed an appeal, the difficulty of her routine was upgraded and Raisman was awarded the bronze. “I felt really good on my beam routine today,” Raisman said. “I’m happy that it was good enough for bronze. This day has been so crazy and really special.”
There was relief: Five days ago, she had the third-best score in the individual all-around event but she missed a bronze due to the tie-breaker rule. “Finally, she gets what she deserves,” said her coach Mihai Brestyan.
Brestyan then reached into his pocket and pulled out a four-leaf clover. “I had it today,” he said. The good-luck charm had been given to him by young athletes he trains at his gym in Burlington, Mass. During the individual all-around finals, he had forgotten to put the lucky clover in his pocket; instead in had been buried in his gym bag.
Such is the fickleness of luck, and gymnastics. There was much to celebrate. For the first time in Olympic history, the U.S women won the team gold and the individual all-around gold in the same Games.
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