When you hear the word "clutch," who do you think of? Kobe Bryant? Mariano Rivera? Tom Brady? Go ahead and add Aly Raisman to that list.
Yes, you read that right.
Bryant, Brady and a slew of other major sports stars have certainly put together memorable clutch performances on the biggest of stages, but I'm not sure even they would have wanted to step into Raisman's tiny shoes on Tuesday.
At least those guys have teammates to help them through the big moments.
Raisman, while part of a team, was all alone on the gymnastics floor on Tuesday, aiming for her first individual gold medal.
With thousands of eyes on her and only her, she needed to put together the performance of a lifetime. She did that and more (via london2012.com):
"I'm so glad I got the medal I wanted," Raisman said. 'It was the best routine I've ever done. My coach said it was the best routine he'd ever seen me do."
Yeah, I'd say so.
Raisman has always been the favorite on the floor, but she's never done what she did on Tuesday.
During qualification, the 18-year-old, needing a huge routine to get through to the all-around finals, put up a ridiculous 15.325, the best score of the day. During the team final, she scored a 15.300, the best of the day. Finally, during the all-around final, Raisman tallied a 15.133, the second best of the day.
But when it mattered most, Raisman slaughtered even those top scores. On Tuesday, she scored a 15.600. Not only did she have the most difficult routine, Raisman received the best execution score and was docked zero penalties.
That was the equivalent of Kobe Bryant scoring 81 in the NBA Finals or Tom Brady throwing for six touchdowns in the Super Bowl.
She was at her absolute best at the most crucial moment. That, right there, is the definition of clutch.
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