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This is the one time every 4 years that all of my friends, who know nothing about gymnastics, are actually interested in the sport. It is the time where, despite our differences and issues, nations come together and show what they can do in the name of friendly competition. A video of Usain Bolt comes to mind, as he stopped an interview he was giving to pay respect as our national anthem (not his) came on in the background. That is what it is all about.
It is safe to say that the USA women dominated the podium. There were some incredible statistics going around social media about how great our ‘Final Five’ performed. However, when I look at those girls (and the alternates) I can only think of one word: PRIDE. I am proud of them, not because of their place, but because they represent a work ethic unlike any other. I am proud that they embody the true Olympic spirit as they all had beaming smiles during the whole competition. I am proud of their determination because they didn’t allow setbacks like injuries stop them from moving forward. I am proud that these are the girls who are the role models for tomorrow's athletes.
When looking back on this amazing event, there were some moments of questionable sportsmanship which the media focused on, but that is only a small fraction of the great athletes who carried themselves with dignity. I see a collective group of athletes who are willing to put themselves on the line and try to push themselves every day in a sport that they love.