With the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio right around the corner, many eyes are on the inspirational female figures that make up the Women’s Gymnastic team. The 2012 Women’s Gymnastic team members, more famously known as “The Fierce Five,” brought home gold and it’s no doubt that this year’s team is prepared to do the same. At such a young age, each of these women have already achieved success in their sport and continue to break records. Valley introduces you to the five incredible women that are taking on gymnastics in Rio, and why they should be your #WCW!
At 16 years old, Hernandez is the youngest on this year’s team. Born and raised in New Brunswick, New Jersey, Laurie is representing many by being the first Latina on the gymnastics team to go to the Olympics since the 80’s. She is also the first Puerto Rican to ever be on the team! She is known for her floor exercises and took home four medals at the P&G Championships. Laurie has plans to attend the University of Florida in 2018.
The 19-year old Texas native is a world-champion on the uneven bars and healed from a minor ankle injury just in time for the Olympic Trials. The uneven bars have been known to be the weakest event for the sport, but Kocian has already proven to succeed, making her a strong contender at this years games. She plans to attend UCLA this upcoming Fall.
Hailing from Columbus, Ohio, Simone already has a list of titles under her belt — “4-time US national all-around champion”, and “3-time world floor champion” to name a few. She has coined the nickname “Supernova Simone” from all her incredible feats, and with a total of fourteen medals —ten of which are gold—she is the most decorated athlete in women’s gymnastics. She has already broken records and despite backlash she has received due to her race, Biles is confident she’ll succeed in Rio.
Aly was a member and team captain of 2012’s “Fierce Five” and returns this year at the age of 22 — the oldest on the team. Raisman, born and raised in Massachusetts, took home three medals at the 2012 Olympic Games — two gold and one bronze. In total, she has seven medals between the Olympic games and World Championships. She currently attends Babson College.
Now 20-years old, Gabby Douglas was also a previous member of the “Fierce Five” and is returning this year with two Olympic gold medals from her time at the London games. Douglas is known as the first African-American gymnast to receive an individual gold medal, and breaks the record for first American to take home two gold medals from the team and individual competitions within the same year.
These women are more than prepared for the games in Rio, and many are praising the diversity of this year’s team. These five encompass skill, strength, and dedication in their sport and are ready to shine this August. Make sure to watch the Olympic Games from August 5th – August 21st!