The Fantastic Five. The Friendly Five. The Fearsome Five. The Frrrreaky Five.
The 2012 U.S. Olympic women’s gymnastics team had very important business to attend — picking their nickname before the London Games.
Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman, Jordyn Wieber, McKayla Maroney and Kyla Ross tossed around ideas in their Olympic Village townhouse ahead of the Opening Ceremony.
“The media had initially dubbed us the ‘Fab Five,’ but that nickname already belonged to a basketball team,” Raisman wrote in her autobiography, “Fierce,” published Tuesday. “We wanted something different, something that represented what we were. We were combing our brains — and several online thesauruses — for the right moniker.”
Media at the London Games reported that Wieber and Maroney came up with “Fierce Five” together, googling words that began with “F” on a bus en route to a training session.
Raisman gave the credit to Maroney.
“‘Fierce!’ McKayla exclaimed,” Raisman wrote. “She shut her laptop with a snap and looked up, her eyes shining. The rest of us stared at her. ‘That’s it! Fierce — the Fierce Five,’ she said. ‘That’s what we are.’
And that’s what we became.”
Raisman and Douglas returned for the Rio Games, where the U.S. team became the “Final Five” in an homage to Martha Karolyi‘s last Olympic team and the last time Olympic team event sizes would be five women. Starting in 2020, Olympic team event sizes will be four women.
Before Rio, the five team members — Simone Biles, Laurie Hernandez, Madison Kocian, Douglas and Raisman — had gone back and forth over text about that year’s team name.
Hernandez offered Slay Squad. Media suggested GLAMSquad, because it incorporated the first letter of each gymnast’s name, but Raisman felt it sexist.
“No one would ever suggest naming a men’s team Glam!” she wrote.
The team revealed the name on camera right after winning gold. Then, they told Karolyi. She cried.
“She pulled us into a group hug so tight we feared she might suffocate us,” Raisman wrote.
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