Aly Raisman

Ten memorable Summer Olympic gold-medal moments from 2010s

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NBCSports.com looks back at the 2010s this week. Here are 10 Summer Olympic gold-medal moments that defined the decade …

London 2012: Fierce Five puts U.S. back atop women’s gymnastics
Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman, Jordyn Wieber, McKayla Maroney and Kyla Ross became the first U.S. gymnastics team to win an Olympic title outside of a home Games. This group set the tone for what would become a dynasty — the U.S. women have won every Olympic and world team and all-around title since 2011. Douglas went on to capture the all-around in London. Raisman grabbed her all-around medal in Rio, a silver. Wieber kicked it off with the 2011 World all-around crown. Maroney was shockingly relegated to silver in the 2012 Olympic vault final, then repeated as world champion in 2013. Ross would join Simone Biles on world all-around podiums in 2013 and 2014.

London 2012: Michael Phelps breaks career Olympic medals record
Though Phelps broke Mark Spitz‘s single-Games mark by taking eight golds in 2008, he entered the decade in second place on the career Olympic medals list behind 1950s and ’60s Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina. Phelps needed three medals in London — what he said would be his final Games — to take the lead with 19 total. He tied and broke the record on the same night with a silver behind Chad le Clos in the 200m butterfly and gold anchoring the 4x200m freestyle relay. Phelps went on to win another nine Olympic medals between London and Rio — with a brief retirement in between — to finish with 28 medals and 23 golds. Latynina, with 18 medals and nine golds, is now a distant second.

London 2012: Misty May-Treanor/Kerri Walsh Jennings three-peat
The greatest team in beach volleyball history took their final bow together at Horse Guards Parade, completing an undefeated run for a third straight Olympics. May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings had separate win streaks of 90 and 112 matches in the 2000s but were vulnerable going into London. They had won four of their 17 international events together since May-Treanor unretired in 2011. But they dropped just one set in seven matches at the Olympics, sweeping countrywomen Jen Kessy and April Ross in the final. May-Treanor retired from international play for good, while Walsh Jennings planted the seed of her next partnership at the net after the final. She and Ross paired and earned bronze in Rio.

London 2012: David Rudisha breaks world record in epic 800m final
Maybe the greatest race in history. The Maasai warrior Rudisha was tapped by many to break his own world record in his Olympic debut. He did it, leading from the break and towing six of the seven other finalists to personal bests. Rudisha clocked 1:40.91, becoming the first man to break 1:41. Every runner’s time was the fastest ever for that finishing placement. “It was the performance of the Games, not just of track and field, but of the Games,” said London 2012 chairman Seb Coe, a former 800m world-record holder.

London 2012: David Boudia wins platform on final dive
Boudia, after qualifying last out of 18 divers out of preliminaries, entered the sixth and last final-round dive in a virtual tie with world champion Qiu Bo of China and British favorite Tom Daley. For the biggest dive of his life, Boudia performed the highest-scoring dive of the day — 102.60 points — on a back two-and-a-half somersault with two-and-a-half twists in the pike position. He won by 1.80 points over Qiu, giving the U.S. its first Olympic diving title since Laura Wilkinson in 2000.

Rio 2016: Simone Biles, Aly Raisman go 1-2 in all-around
For Biles, gold was a coronation marking four years of unprecedented excellence. For Raisman, silver was sweet, representing a three-year comeback journey to become an even better gymnast than she was in London (where she missed an all-around medal on a tiebreak). Biles’ margin of victory — 2.1 points — was greater than the previous nine Olympic margins combined. Raisman had a 1.433-point edge over bronze medalist Aliya Mustafina, greater than the margin separating Mustafina from the 10th-place finisher.

Rio 2016: Katie Ledecky completes 4-gold-medal Games with second world record
You can’t ask much more of a swimmer than a personal best. When Ledecky does that, it usually means a world record. She shattered personal bests in the 200m, 400m and 800m freestyles en route to four golds (including the 4x200m free relay) at her second Olympics. The 400m and 800m frees were world records, nearly two seconds faster than the previous marks. Ledecky shed rare tears after the last race, the 800m free, knowing it was her final one under D.C.-area coach Bruce Gemmell before matriculating at Stanford.

Rio 2016: Wayde van Niekerk breaks Michael Johnson’s 400m world record
From way out in lane eight, the South African took down Johnson’s 17-year-old world record in perhaps the most astonishing feat of the Games. Van Niekerk, then coached by a 74-year-old grandmother (Ans Botha), clocked 43.03 seconds. Usain Bolt, watching on a TV in the stadium, covered his mouth in a similar reaction to many at the Maracana. The two sprinters trained together earlier that year. “Bolt told me in Jamaica, ‘You will break the world record,'” van Niekerk said in Rio. “Tonight [Bolt] said, ‘I told you you can do it.'”

Rio 2016: Usain Bolt finishes golden Olympic career
With one last relay leg, the Jamaican bid farewell to the Olympics with a “triple-triple,” gold medals in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympics (the 2008 relay title would later be stripped for a teammate’s doping). Though Bolt turned a close 4x100m into a runaway on anchor, perhaps the more memorable image of that night came hours later. Some time after midnight, Bolt made his way back onto the track and threw a javelin.

Rio 2016: Neymar wins Brazil’s first Olympic soccer title in shootout
In what he later called the most nervous moment of his life, Neymar calmly netted the decisive shootout attempt in the Olympic final at the Maracana. The opponent: Germany, whose national team trounced Brazil 7-1 two years earlier in the World Cup semifinals, also in Brazil. Neymar dropped to his knees, was mobbed by teammates and then sobbed. Brazil, a five-time World Cup champion, earned its first Olympic soccer title and its most coveted medal of the Rio Games.

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BEST OF 2010s: Summer Olympians | Winter Olympians | Teams
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Aly Raisman will not try for Tokyo Olympics, report says

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Aly Raisman will not return to gymnastics for a Tokyo Olympic bid, according to a report.

“I plan to be in Tokyo to cheer everyone on,” Raisman said, according to People magazine.

The report follows spring 2018 news that Raisman, who last competed at the Rio Olympics, said she probably would not return to competition at all, according to In Style magazine. Raisman’s agent has not confirmed or denied the reports.

Raisman, 25, would be ending her Olympic career as one of the most successful, dependable and admirable gymnasts in U.S. history, captaining both the 2012 and 2016 gold-medal teams as the oldest member.

She earned three medals at each Olympics, finishing one medal shy of Shannon Miller‘s career record of seven for a U.S. Olympic gymnast. Simone Biles has five.

Fittingly in 2012, the suburban Boston native clinched the U.S.’ first Olympic team title since 1996 by performing the last routine on floor exercise. Two days later, Raisman experienced her toughest Olympic moment, missing out on an all-around medal via tiebreaker.

She rebounded with a balance beam bronze and a gold on floor exercise, much to the delight of parents Lynn and Rick, who went viral during the Games for their nervous reactions to watching their oldest of four children compete. Raisman called the floor finale “the routine of my life.”

She took two years off from competition after London, then made her third world championships team in 2015. By the 2016 Olympic Trials, she was considered a lock for the five-woman team. She and Gabby Douglas became the first women in 16 years to make multiple U.S. Olympic gymnastics teams.

Rio marked Raisman’s best international meet. She helped the U.S. to repeat team gold, then finished second to Biles in the all-around and on floor exercise.

Turns out, Raisman’s last meet came 20 years after her Olympic inspiration. Though Raisman was only 2 at the time, Lynn taped the Magnificent Seven’s team title. Raisman watched it for the first time at age 8. It became daily viewing.

Two weeks after Rio, Raisman said she planned to return to the gym in 2017 ahead of a competitive comeback for 2020.

“I took a full year off in 2012. I’m going to do the same thing, take a year off, and then I’ll begin training again,” Raisman said then. “I thought I was in the best shape of my life in 2012. It’s even better now. So I’m excited to see what will happen in 2020.”

Everything changed in November 2017, when Raisman released her autobiography, “Fierce,” and came forward as a Larry Nassar sexual abuse survivor.

The Associated Press reported that a 2020 Olympic comeback seemed “trivial” compared to Raisman’s new calling as an advocate for abuse survivors and taking on organizations and individuals at fault.

“This is the focus,” Raisman said then, according to the AP.

She filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics in March 2018, claiming they “knew or should have known” about Nassar’s abusive patterns.

Biles is the only Rio 2016 team member to compete at the elite level since Rio.

Laurie Hernandez, the Rio balance beam silver medalist, plans to return to competition in 2020 for a Tokyo bid. Hernandez last competed in Rio.

Douglas, the 2012 Olympic all-around champion, has not ruled out a return, according to NBC’s affiliate in Dallas-Fort Worth last weekend.

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MORE: Simone Biles to headline post-Olympic gymnastics tour

Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman breaks elbow in fall on stairs

Aly Raisman
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BOSTON — Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman says she is recovering from a broken elbow suffered in a fall on the stairs.

Raisman in a Twitter post says “I survived two Olympic Games and 19 years of gymnastics without ever breaking a bone … the stairs got me … I fell and broke my elbow.”

She also posted a picture of herself on a couch, her right arm in a cast, snuggling with a dog. Raisman is native of the Boston suburb of Needham.

Raisman, captain for both the gold medal-winning 2012 and 2016 U.S. women’s Olympic gymnastics teams, is also a best-selling author and a survivor of sexual abuse. She’s been an outspoken advocate for women who were abused or victimized, and a harsh critic of USA Gymnastics, the sport’s governing body.