America’s sweethearts, GABBY DOUGLAS and her teammates, turned tears into Olympic gold. HOW THEY DID IT!
IN an awesome display of skill and willpower, Gabby Douglas’ four teammates also overcame hardships to bring home Olympic gold.
Jordyn Wieber’s mom Rita almost didn’t get to see her 17-year-old daughter compete in the Olympic Games. While training for a marathon, Rita was run over by a car and suffered multiple injuries, including a broken leg and severe damage to her neck.
But Rita recovered. And wherever Jordyn, who hails from DeWitt, Mich., is competing, her mom jogs to a nearby church and says a prayer for her daughter.
Aly Raisman dreamed of her beloved grandparents seeing her make it to the Olympics, but they both passed away while the 18-year-old Needham, Mass., gymnast was competing for a place on the U.S. squad.
“It would have meant the world to Aly to see her grandparents in the stands while she competed in London,” said a source. “But rather than dwell on her loss, Aly made a personal vow to win the gold for them – and she made good on that promise!”
Kyla Ross was so muscular that one of her coaches thought she wasn’t fit to be a gymnast.
“She had this square body, no legs, and square shoulders,” recalled Jenny Zhang, who’s coached the 15-year-old champ since she was 8.
But Zhang’s husband Howie Liang saw the magic in the kid, who lives in Aliso Viejo, Calif. The veteran coach insisted his wife give Kyla time to bloom – and boy, did she ever!
After watching a Tarzan movie at age 2, McKayla Maroney started bouncing around like a chimpanzee, frightening her parents.
Now 16, the athlete from Laguna Niguel, Calif., recalls: “My mom was like, ‘I need to put this child in gymnastics. She’s crazy!’” It turned out to be the best decision the family ever made.
Congrats to America’s sweethearts!