After dominating in Tuesday’s team finals with a score of 184.897, Team USA revealed their new nickname: The Final Five.
Earlier this week, the five ladies who are representing the US in Rio– Aly Raisman, Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, Laurie Hernandez, and Madison Kocian– teased that they’d already chosen a nickname, but wouldn’t reveal it until after the team final. The girls kept their promise, and after placing 1st at Tuesday’s competition and throwing their hands in for a cheer, they finally screamed, “We are the Final Five!”
In an interview with NBC immediately following the competition, Team USA said the name Final Five was chosen in honor of Martha Karolyi, the US national team coordinator, who will retire following the Rio Olympics this summer. Karolyi, 73, will be wrapping up her 16 year stint with Team USA, during which she led the United States women’s gymnastics team to multiple victories.
But the name goes ever further than that– it also signifies the end of an era. Last year, it was announced that the Olympics gymnastics teams would be reduced from five people to four, beginning with the 2020 Olympics. This means that the five-person team of Raisman, Kocian, Douglas, Biles, and Hernandez, will, in fact, be the final team consisting of five gymnasts.
At the London Olympics in 2012, the US team (Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, Kyla Ross, and Jordyn Wieber) was nicknamed The Fierce Five, though the media dubbed them the “Fab Five” before the Olympics even began. In a 2012 article, McKayla Maroney told USA Today, “I guess (Fab Five) was taken by some basketball team or something….” She was referring to the the 1990s Michigan men’s basketball team. Regardless of the name they go by, it’s undeniable that the US has proven themselves unbeatable in the world of women’s gymnastics. On Thursday, Aly Raisman and Simone Biles will compete in the individual all-around finals to determine which gymnast will walk away with another Olympic gold.