We take a brief pause from our features on former and current Cal Olympic athletes to take a broader view. With apologies, my most memorable Olympic moment involves an alumna who went to one of those lesser SoCal universities. (I have already taken the liberty of tarring and feathering myself to save you, dear readers, the trouble.)
However, looking beyond college rivalries to the red, white, and blue, this was a moment of American triumph and of athletic perseverance that should resonate with anyone and everyone.
The year was 1996. The American women's gymnastics team was locked in a fierce competition with the Chinese and the Russian squads. Historically, the Americans were always considered somewhat of an underdog in this event. However, this year we had an unusually strong squad led by a number of precocious teenage phenoms. With but a few points separating the leaders, it was Kerri Strug's turn at the vault. Her first run was near disastrous - when she landed, it was apparent that she had severely injured her ankle. Was this it for the Americans? Would she have to withdraw?
Instead, Kerri stepped up to the mat and ran through the pain. She hit the vault, executed her flip, AND STUCK THE LANDING!
It still gives me chills. In fact, my allergies flared up a little while reliving this moment. What's your favorite moment from the Olympics? Can any team or individual performance top this one? Share your thoughts below.
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