5. Aly Raisman wins gold at Olympics
Aly Raisman, the US women's gymnastics captain from Needham, won gold in the floor exercise at the London Olympics, about an hour after getting a bronze on balance beam. Raisman left London with three medals, most of any of her “Fierce Five” teammates and was the toast of New England.
"Today has been a dream come true,'' said Raisman after winning gold. "I'm so glad I got the medal I wanted."
Prior to taking gold in the floor exercise — her strongest event — Raisman surprised many by taking the bronze medal on the beam after winning an appeal with the judges, who initially had her fourth, and then a tiebreaker with Romania’s Catalina Ponor.
In the floor exercise, Raisman's tumbling passes were some of the most difficult of the event. Her routine had a 6.5 degree of difficulty and she earned a 9.1 for execution.
When her score, a 15.6, was posted, teammate McKayla Maroney yelled "whoa!" so loudly from the stands it could be heard across the arena.
"It was the best routine I've ever done," Raisman said of her floor exercise. "My coach said it was the best routine he'd ever seen me do."
Raisman missed out on a bronze medal in the all-around when she finished tied for third with Russia’s Aliya Mustafina, only to have the tiebreaker bounce her from the podium.
Thousands of fans packed a Needham parade ground on Aug. 26 for a glimpse of the town’s Olympic star. Since the gold medal run, Raisman has been busy with TV appearances, celebrity gigs, and plans to attend college next year.