This is enough to make anyone beam.
The U.S. women’s gymnastics team — who crushed last night’s all-around competition, winning gold — has revealed why they’ve nicknamed themselves the “Final Five.”
And it’s as sweet as apple pie.
“We wanted to do it for her just because she's there with us every single day.”
“We’re the ‘Final Five’ because this is Marta [Karolyi’s] last Olympics and without her none of this would’ve been possible,” Aly Raisman told Today.
“We wanted to do it for her just because she’s there with us every single day,” Raisman, the team’s captain, told the outlet.
She also mentioned to Today that this Olympics is the last one where there are five-girl teams.
“The next Olympics is only gonna be a four-person team,” Raisman said.
Karolyi is the U.S. gymnastics team’s coordinator. She and her husband, Béla, trained athletes in Romania, but defected to the U.S. in 1981. Together the couple helped Mary Lou Retton become the first American woman to win the Olympic title in 1984 and coached the “Magnificent Seven” in Atlanta in 1996, according to the Associated Press.
The couple runs a training ranch in rural Texas where athletes and their coaches stay to receive specialized instruction and bond as a team.
Karolyi began running the ranch in 2001 and since she took over, she’s proven that she has an eye for medal potential. Under her leadership, female American gymnasts have won 89 world championship and Olympic medals, including the gold won last night.
“She’s got an uncanny intuition, and I think she’s got a very brilliant mind to figure that out,” Kelli Hill, who coached Dominique Dawes and Courtney Kupets, told USA Today.
Simone Biles, who is part of this year’s USA team, is even more proof that Karolyi has a knack for recognizing greatness.
But she won’t let her athletes coast on their talent alone.
“She is a very intimidating lady,” Biles told the AP. “She’ll tell you how it is. She wants you to succeed. She never wants you to look back and say ‘I could have given it more.’”
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