‘Fierce Five’ gymnasts light up Empire State Building
Wed, 15 Aug 2012 9:33a.m.
The US gold medal winning women's gymnastic team were given the honour of lighting New York City's Empire State Building in red white and blue.
The "Fierce Five", as they are now being called, of Aly Reisman, Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Jordan Wieber and Kyla Ross can look back on one of their most successful Olympic campaigns in history.
In addition to visiting the Empire State Building, which included a trip to the famed observation deck on the 86th floor, the Olympic champions will appear on numerous television programmes, and will also ring the closing bell of the New York Stock Exchange.
Having won the world championship in 2011, the team went to London as gold medal favourites, and did not disappoint.
They came first in all disciplines except the uneven bars, beating silver medallists Russia by the widest margin of victory at an Olympics for 52 years.
It was the first time since the Atlanta Games in 1996, that the U.S. women's team took the gold medal.
16-year-old Gabby Douglas also won the gold in the individual all-around event.
Team captain Aly Reisman, the eldest of the five at 18-years-old became the first woman from the United States to win Olympic gold in the floor exercise.
Reisman performed to the tune Hava Nagila to honour her Jewish heritage and also the Israeli athletes killed by Palestinian terrorists forty years earlier, at the 1972 Munich Olympics.
Despite pressure to do so, the International Olympic Committee refused to hold a moment of silence for the Israeli victims during the opening ceremony.
Raisman also won a bronze in balance beam.
McKayla Maroney accounted for the other U.S. individual medal with a disappointing silver medal on the vault.
Maroney was the heavy favourite in a discipline she has dominated the past two years, but a fall on her second landing cost her the gold.
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