Team USA women’s gymnast Aly Raisman has the chance on Thursday to win the gold medal in the individual all-around event at the 2012 Summer Olympics from London.
Not only will she have to overcome her competition in the actual event, she will have to perform with the weight of the controversy surrounding the exclusion of Team USA teammate and defending individual all-around world champion Jordyn Wieber on her shoulders.
While it isn’t fair, Raisman is ready. Instead of crumbling under all of the pressure, Team USA’s most underrated star has the skills and the potential to fulfill her destiny and walk away with the gold medal.
Raisman told the Boston Herald about being under the radar and how that sets up perfectly for a surprise win on Thursday:
I was OK with being under the radar because I just felt more calm going into this. I didn’t feel the pressure. I just wanted to do it more for myself and my coaches because we’ve been working so hard together. I really felt real confident that I could get my goal.
The Olympic rules say that only two participants from each nation can make the finals of the individual all around, and unfortunately for Wieber, both Raisman and Gabby Douglas had better qualifying scores.
While Wieber may have missed this competition, she will be rooting on her teammate with the hopes of bringing another gold medal home for the United States.
After all, these girls are all best friends.
The women’s individual event consists of four events (vault, uneven bars, beam and floor) and the total score will determine the winner. While Raisman isn’t Team USA’s No. 1 gymnast in any event, she is top three in every event and one of the world’s best in the all around.
That’s how she got here, and that's how she is going to win the gold medal.
Date: Thursday, August 2
Time: 11:30 a.m. EDT
Watch Live: NBC Olympics LIVE Extra
Prime-Time Replay: NBC starting at 8 p.m. EDT