It’s been quite some week for Aly Raisman. With the Artistic Team gold medal already in the bag, the American gymnast produced two more top-class routines to claim a second gold and a bronze. Oh, and she’s also received a congratulatory call from President Obama. Not bad for an 18-year-old.
Raisman leaves the 2012 London Olympics as the most successful Jewish athlete. There was almost a fourth medal but she was edged out of a bronze on a tiebreaker empty-handed despite finishing joint third in the Women’s All-Round Individual event.
Once again, Raisman had the North Greenwich Arena rocking to the tune of Hava Nagila as she put in another twinkle-toed performance to win the Floor event – her strongest routine.
“I felt like I had nothing to lose. It was going to be my last memory of London, so I just wanted to make it count and enjoy it,” said Raisman, who captured America’s first Olympic gold on the floor.
“It was definitely the best floor routine I’ve ever done and the fact that it came at the Olympics, in the finals, is just really amazing and just a dream come true. That’s what you work for your whole life.”
In between gold medals, Raisman, the American gymnastics captain, took a call from American President Barak Obama and received messages from Pop diva Lady Gaga and Pink and actress Jessica Alba.
The heartbreak Raisman suffered in the Individual Beam routine - when she was edged out of third place - became a distant memory.
She was determined to put things right on Tuesday and put it right she did. Fortune smiled on her in the Balance Beam event as finished level with Romania’s Catalina Ponor with a score of 14.966, but she was promoted to third place after an appeal.
This was followed by a stunning floor routine which recorded a mark of 15.600. Her delight at the crowd’s reaction to her Hava Nagila song was there for all to see. “I’m Jewish,” she said. “That’s why I wanted that floor music. I wanted something the crowd could clap to, especially being here in London.
“It makes it even much more if the audience is going through everything with you. That was really cool and fun to hear the crowd clapping.”
After a period of intense competition, Raisman was finally able to relax and celebrate with her teammates and family. She later tweeted: “I wish that I could have this moment for life. Wow, what a day. It was the perfect ending to an amazing Olympic experience. I loved every second of it.”