America is enamored with the 2012 US women’s gymnastics team. They’ve been picking up medals left and right at the London Olympics, making them the pride and joy of the country the past week and a half. So I decided to look into them a little more and found them to be a genuinely fun and giddy bunch. The more you learn about them, the more you want to root for them.
Today, Aly Raisman, the team’s captain, won gold in wommen’s floor exercise and bronze in the balance beam. In honor of her victory here are the top 10 photos that Raisman has tweeted out of her and her teammates having fun at the London Olympics.
1. The Team Arrives in London
Loving London instagr.am/p/Nam1aMPuQw/
— Alexandra Raisman (@Aly_Raisman) July 23, 2012
Nice way to kick off the games, posing with the mascot. Even if the mascot is absurd and creepy looking. And maybe a little phallic. Maybe so phallic so as to challenge Freud to come back from the dead so he can write a paper about it. Still, a must to see.
2. The Team Poses With the Olympic Torch
Olympic torch instagr.am/p/NbDvctPuX2/
— Alexandra Raisman (@Aly_Raisman) July 23, 2012
The team is clearly blowing a kiss because the Olympic torch is hot stuff. You see what I did there? That’s why I get paid the big bucks.
3. The Team Meets Michael Phelps
This time Aly Raisman retweeted teammate McKayla Maroney
One of the best things about staying in the Olympic Village is meeting all the amazing athletes!! instagr.am/p/NiWHwFqic_/
— McKayla Maroney (@McKaylaMaroney) July 26, 2012
Wow, Phelps is just towering over them. Phelps looks like Gargamel ready to … wait, what does Gargamel want to do to the Smurfs again?
4. The Team Meets Carmelo Anthony
This time Raisman retweeted teammate Gabby Douglas
CARMELO ANTHONY!!!! EEEE!!! instagr.am/p/NyPtsuN5um/
— Gabrielle Douglas (@gabrielledoug) August 1, 2012
Speaking of other athletes who tower over our plucky heroes, here’s Carmelo Anthony. I think he actually might be twice as tall as Gabby Douglas. Although, they’re just the right height to help protect his groin from the evil Argentina!
5. The Team Does Splits With Ryan Seacrest
This time Raisman retweeted Ryan Seacrest himself
Doing the splits is easy, standing back up…not so much. instagr.am/p/NjtkIBFWSa/
— Ryan Seacrest (@RyanSeacrest) July 26, 2012
Making a fool out of Ryan Seacrest is sort of a national pastime at this point (no one’s better at it than Seacrest himself). The US women’s gymnastics team does America proud by gaining a decisive victory in this sport of champions.
6. The Team Takes Over The NBC Desk
We did some fun media after podium training!!!! instagr.am/p/Njn0BCPufi/
— Alexandra Raisman (@Aly_Raisman) July 26, 2012
Having defeated the Seacrest, by the law of medialand, the team gets to choose one of his 742 jobs for their very own. They choose London Olympic coverage. America is again grateful to these gracious young girls. This time for freeing them from the tyranny of mindless human interest fluff pieces and mediocre analysis-free commentary.
Seriously, this picture just made NBC’s coverage 500% better by itself.
7. The Team Gets Tough
We were trying to look tough… Did it work?? instagr.am/p/NlOAFxvucb/
— Alexandra Raisman (@Aly_Raisman) July 27, 2012
Yeaaaaa, I’m not so sure that you pulled off the whole “tough” look. Not saying y’all aren’t badasses, just not so sure that if I saw these face coming at me in a dark alley I’d be frightened. But hey, what do I know? Let’s ask your opponents if you look tough. Oh wait, they’re off cowering in the corner. Guess it did work.
8. Team Channels Their Inner Usain Bolt
@mckaylamaroney: Channeling our inner Bolt.. #Usain where you at?? instagr.am/p/N6lLryKicQ/” @usainbolt
— Alexandra Raisman (@Aly_Raisman) August 4, 2012
The girls take Usain Bolt’s famed victory stance. According to the time of the tweet this was long before Bolt’s Olympic record victory in the men’s 100m. Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Wait. … Wait. So you mean to tell me that these five young ladies are, in addition to Olympic gold medalists, psychic? Yes, yes I do. Bam! I just blew your mind. I 100% assert that the US womnen’s gymnastics team is psychic. Prove me wrong.
9. The Team Enjoys Their Gold Medals
Dreams do come true :) instagr.am/p/NxitfPPuQJ/
— Alexandra Raisman (@Aly_Raisman) August 1, 2012
I hate to break you to you ladies, but they’re not really gold. Well, there’s some gold. But they’re really just gold plated. I assume they’re testing the gold quantity in this picture. Or perhaps they tired of channeling Usain Bolt and decided to start channeling Cookie Monster. I don’t know, I’m not a doctor. All I know is, that’s a pretty damn good dream.
10. The Team Becomes Legends
This picture gives me chills. These girls on the 96 team inspired me SO much. Still feels like a dream <3 twitter.com/Aly_Raisman/st…
— Alexandra Raisman (@Aly_Raisman) August 5, 2012
The 1996 Olympics is the first Olympics I can remember. It’s also the first time I was aware of gymnastics as something other than simply “what girls do.” It was the first time I realized what a serious athletic competition it was. Keri Strug was my first experience with patriotism and my first Olympics “wow” moment. For me, that team and that Keri Strug moment will be burned into my memory forever. It will always be one of the greatest and most heart-wrenching sports moments I’ve ever witnessed.
This 2012 team belongs up there every bit as much with that 1996 team. This team was historic and exciting and more fun than I can remember gymnastics ever being. Congratulations to them and a special congratulations to Aly Raisman for her victories today, both golden (floor exercise) and bronze (balance beam).