I can honestly say that I am not a big fan of sports. However, being a creative person with an eye for beauty, I never miss gymnastics competitions. The recent performance of the USA Women’s Olympic team has left me under an immense impression. It wasn’t just about the gold, of course. There was so much more to it than a series of flawless routines. The girls shone!
It was hard to put a finger on what exactly made this impression at first. They radiated youth, strength and confidence; more so, they exuded joy. I watched and marveled at the gracefulness and seeming effortlessness of their movements, at the happiness and poise of their victories. I saw an amazing combination of strength and beauty, courage and elegance, open-hearted sincerity and Spartan determination. I realized at last that Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, Madison Kocian, Laurie Hernandez and Simone Biles are not just the Olympians; they are, in fact, the best representation of our country. They are the brand ambassadors, if I may use fashion terminology here, they are the face of the USA.
Aly Raisman was quoted saying in a pre-Olympic interview “We’re going in as the best team in the world, so we should carry ourselves that way, not be scared and shaky because we have that pressure. It should be the opposite. You know, you walk in like you’re number one, and I think that’s intimidating to everyone else.”
The world may not always see the USA in a positive light. In this election year a lot of citizens also choose to see the negatives rather than the positives in this country. However, I would like to focus on the attributes of the American culture that I find the most inspiring: courage, diversity, determination to win, and win with the beauty and grace. The Final Five, as they called themselves, is the perfect representation of that vision of America for tomorrow and today – diverse, successful, self-confident and radiant – a real beacon of light.
The USA women’s gymnastics team brought in the gold, but more than that – they represented who we are to the whole world. If there should be a name for this team, I think it shouldn’t be the Final Five, but forever be known as the GOLDEN GIRLS – the ones who shone.