Jewish U.S. Gymnast Helps Teammates Bring Home Gold - The Jewish Voice
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Monday, May 16, 2022

Jewish U.S. Gymnast Helps Teammates Bring Home Gold

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A new Jewish star has been born at this year’s Olympics in London – 18-year-old Aly Raisman, the American gymnast who triumphed over teammate Jordyn Wieber on Sunday for one of the two U.S. spots, during the qualifying round for the women’s all-around finals.

Not one to rest on her laurels, Raisman continued her winning streak over the next two days, helping her team win the Olympic gold for Women’s Gymnastics. With her amazing athletic prowess and stunning victories, the teenage phenomenon has captured serious media attention. Her parents, who have visibly supported her every move at the Games, have become stars in their own right on the Internet; the gym where she trains in Burlington, Massachusetts has been besieged by hordes of parents registering their children for gymnastics lessons; and even mere acquaintances of Aly are being called on by media outlets for interviews.

The emotional investment in their daughter displayed by Ricky and Lynn Raisman was in ample evidence on Tuesday, when Aly performed her intricate routine on the uneven bars. NBC’s cameras captured them moving anxiously in their spectator seats in tandem with Aly’s every move, audibly muttering encouraging phrases such as “Come on,” “Catch it,” and “Stick it.” And fans have echoed Ricky’s loud sigh of relief at the routine’s conclusion.

The crowds at Raisman’s regular gym feel equally connected to the new sensation. “Everyone wants to be like Aly,” said Rashawn Harrison, one of the gym’s coaches. “And that’s a good thing, because she’s well-mannered, respectful, hard-working. Kids should want to be like her.”

The hot new star’s hometown of Needham is festooned with banners, posters, and decorations celebrating her accomplishments. Olympics observers from all over are in agreement – Aly Raisman is definitely this year’s competitor to watch.

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