Rio, Meet the USA’s New “Fierce 5”

By Killian McDonald
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The 2016 USA Olympic gymnastic team is the most impressive and diverse group of women gymnasts to ever attend the Olympic games. The team is expected to win big in Rio, with one of the gymnasts, Simone Biles, is expected to win five out of the six gold medals awarded in female gymnastics. This year’s team has two African American women, one Puerto Rican woman, and one Jewish woman.

Say hello to the 2016 USA Olympic gymnastics team: Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, Laurie Hernandez, Madison Kocian, and Simone Biles!

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They are the fiercest, strongest, and most diverse team ever and have nothing to fear at the Olympics.
Aly Raisman.

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Aly is twenty-two years old and is jokingly referred to as the “grandma” of the team. Don’t let this nickname fool you—Aly won three medals in the 2012 London Olympics and is back this year in Rio for more. Since the 2012 Olympics, Aly stared on Dancing with the Stars and improving her Olympic gold medal winning floor routine. That’s right: Aly is the reigning floor routine Olympic champion and she is back for another gold!

Gabby Douglas

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Gabby is a literal “shero,” solidified by her recent Barbie doll status. As the first woman of color to win the gold for the individual all around champion and the fourth woman from the United States to win, this is a major accomplishment. The two best gymnasts in the entire world are African Americans—a feat that has never occurred before. She has become an inspiration for women and girls of color worldwide, opening the door for them to become gymnasts—and more importantly—win on the global level.

Laurie Hernandez

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Laurie may be the youngest member on the team, but she’s been practicing gymnastics since she was five years old. If her floor routine isn’t impressive enough, Laurie’s specialty is the beam. Her beam score at the Olympic qualifiers was a near perfect 15.70. She finished second (only behind Simone Biles) in the Olympic trials and is impressive in every event she participates. She is the first person from Puerto Rico on the team and will most likely become the first Latina woman to win gold in the Olympics. Oh, and she is also nicknamed the “human emoji” for her facial expressions while performing.


Madison Kocian

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Madison is the world champion on the uneven bars. The uneven bars are the team’s weakest event but luckily the U.S. has Madison. At 19 years old, she is an incoming freshman at the University of California, Los Angeles. She finished eighth at the Olympic trials with a score of 15.90 on the uneven bars. She is headed to the Olympics with her eyes set to make sure the world sees her strength on one of the toughest events.

And last but far from least, meet Simone Biles

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Simone Biles is without a doubt the greatest gymnast in the world today. For the past three years, she has been reigned as the World Champion and as such is expected to win big in Rio. Biles is so talented that she could potentially fall—losing a whole point—and still win. Her best event is the floor where she dominates; there is no one who can even compete against her. However, she is also one of the best in the world on the balance beam as well as the Amanar. Simone is the driving force behind this year’s invincible Olympic gymnastic team.

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As Vox reported, “Barring some forces beyond their control, like China locking probable all-around champion Simone Biles in a restroom for the entire competition, they will win gold.”

If you aren’t obsessed with these ladies yet, check out their qualifiers here and remember to cheer on our new “Fierce Five” in August!

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By Killian McDonald

Killian is a campus and government relations intern at the Feminist Majority Foundation. She is a southern girl from South Carolina that loves sweet tea, cats, and reading in the sunshine.

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