The Quiet Gold Medal Winner

Like much of America, I’ve been watching the Olympics this week.

And while each competitor on our women’s gymnastics team is an incredible athlete (and a Gold Medal winner), I was especially impressed by how Aly Raisman slipped under the radar and took home the most medals.

This is to take nothing away from Gabby Douglas and her inspiring story and spectacular performance or McKayla Maroney’s high flying vaults.

It’s just that after I went back and looked at the Olympic previews from last month, handicapping our athletes and our team’s chances for medals, all the press was focused on Jordyn Wieber and Gabby Douglas. It was assumed that they would battle it out for the All-Around medal, as well as multiple individual apparatus medals.

Under The Radar

When Aly was mentioned, it was as the “team captain.” She was described as “solid.” “Consistent.” “The back-bone of the team.” They thought, perhaps, she could take a bronze in the floor exercise, if the stars aligned.

Yet when Wieber wobbled and failed to make the All-Around, there were gasps that Raisman slipped in ahead of her. Almost as if Aly had gotten lucky.

No one picked her to be the one of the only American gymnasts in history (along with Douglas and Shannon Miller) to win two golds.

She’s quiet, humble and was never considered to be the next “it” girl. She’s successful because she just works hard.

This is a quote from a story that ran in late July: “That’s Aly Raisman, whose quiet consistency could be a big part of the reason someone else — Wieber, perhaps, or Gabby Douglas — could return home as the flashy face of a USA team that takes gold in London. ‘Right now, for me personally, it’s better to be consistent. That’s definitely what Martha (Karolyi, US coach) is looking for.’ It’s what the entire team is looking for, even if America doesn’t end up noticing.”

Needless to say, America noticed.

The Right Stuff

So perhaps this is a “slow and steady wins the race story.” Or maybe it’s about finding success by putting in the hard work and showing up every day.

With all the hype around the Olympics and the battle cry of “Go For The Gold,” I can’t help but look at Aly Raisman and think that sometimes, when you put in the hard work and remain humble, The Gold finds you.