Proud to Be An American: Liukin/Johnson Finish One/Two

Craig Garrison SrSenior Analyst IAugust 15, 2008

For the United States there is much to be proud of. The remarkable accomplishments  Michael Phelps has garnered much attention, but Phelps is not the only remarkable story for America. Gymnasts Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson are leaving their mark in Olympic history and in our hearts and minds.

In the all around competition (gymnastics' marquee individual event), the two young ladies are the first ever Americans to win both the Gold and Silver medals, and the United States becomes only the third nation in Olympic history put two competitors on the podium. And Liukin, widely considered second to teammate Johnson, became only the third American to win gold in the prestigious event.

In the process, there was the usual controversy, ya know, questions about the judges fairness. Questions about China's gymnasts, are they actually as old as their birth certificates say they are? Forging birth certificates is a common problem in gymnastics, as it is certainly a "young ladies game".

But none of that mattered in the end. The best won. And the second best, got second place. Shawn Johnson was easily considered the American with the best chance to win gold for the US.

The two ladies had planned a one-two punch in the Olympics over a year ago, and then made it happen.

Each of these young ladies also said leading up to the Olympics that they intended to quit gymnastics following the Summer Games. Now each says she will continue. Good for them. And good for us.

There are many "feel good" stories in these Summer Games, but perhaps none quite as "feel good" as these two friends, teammates, and competitors, seeing their dreams come true. And a brand new future opening up the them. We can all be proud to be an American!