There is no better picture of all that is good with the United States of America than the shot of the five members of the U.S. Women’s Gymnastic Team on the top of the podium at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Young, driven women that achieved a dream through hard work, grit, and perseverance. They captured the hearts of young and old over the course of the competition that was broadcast world wide.
Copyright 2016 Associated Press
They are the face of our nation, as you see two African-Americans, a Latina, a Caucasian and a Jew. It is a perfect example of the diversity that makes our country great, and when you look at the back story of the whole bunch you do not have to go back too far to see evidence of immigrant families making the choice to come to our great nation, the land of opportunity.
They epitomize the Puritan work ethic and the stories of millions who through incredibly hard work, they reached the ultimate place — the top of the podium in the Olympics! All of them overcame significant set backs, specifically injuries. All of them experienced pain and questioned whether they had the internal fortitude to go forward. That’s what Americans do!
All five of them are incredible role models and have had the good fortune to have positioned themselves to where they can capitalize in the market place because of their success. Like Mary Lou, Shawn, Nastia, Carly, Shannon, and many others, they have inspired young girls to follow in their footsteps. They are women who have excelled and took yet another step toward equity that still alludes females in our country today.
We Americans love our sports heroes, and over the years young female gymnasts have carved a place for themselves in the nation’s conscience. But what you will notice is how the sport has moved from one where only white girls from families who could afford the private coaching dominated the sport. Back in 1996 with the group known as the Magnificent Seven, two of the girls were members of a minority. That was a much different looking team than the one that rocked it in Rio. There should be no limits placed on people, nor people excluded because of some trait. The Final Five exemplify that belief!