Tuesday night marked the last night for women’s gymnastics at the Rio Olympics. U.S. gymnasts Simone Biles and Aly Raisman claimed 1st and 2nd place, respectively in the floor team. The U.S. women’s team was considered the strongest group of gymnasts at this year’s Olympics, claiming the team gold earlier in the Games.
As gymnastics comes to an end, we take a look at some amazing and historic Olympic moments in women’s gymnastics.
1.Nadia Comaneci’s perfect 10
Forty years later, Nadia Comaneci’s performance at the Montreal 1976 Olympic Games still defines athletic perfection. The 14-year-old Romanian gymnast was awarded a perfect 10.0 score for her performance on the uneven bars. She received seven 10.0 scores in Montreal – four on the uneven bars and three on the balance beam – and two more perfect scores at the Moscow 1980 Games (Source).
2. Mary Lou Retton Wins All Around
At the Los Angeles Olympics, a boycott from the always dominant Soviet team left Mary Lou Rettonwith the opportunity to become the first American woman to win the all-around title. She needed to fend off Romanian Ecaterina Szabo, however, and only a perfect 10.0 on the vault would win her the gold.
Retton stuck her vault – an ultra-difficult full-twisting layout Tsukahara – and earned a perfect mark. She became a media sensation overnight and was the first woman ever to be featured on a Wheaties box (Source).
3. Kerri Strug Sticks Her Vault on Injured Ankle
The US women were on the verge of a historic win in the team competition in Atlanta. Then the unthinkable happened: Dominique Moceanu, the youngest member of the team, fell on both of her vaults on the last event of the day.
With just a slim lead over the Russian team, it was essential that Kerri Strug, the final American gymnast to perform, nail her vault. But Strug fell too, injuring her ankle in the process. With just one more shot, Strug ignored her injury and ran down for another attempt, sticking her vault before crumpling to the floor in pain.
In doing so, she assured the Americans their first Olympic team gold, and instantly became one of the most recognizable faces of the 1996 Games.
4. The “Korbut Flip” On Uneven Bars
Olga Korbut became known for the “Korbut Flip,” an extremely difficult and considered by many one of the most dangerous moves in Gymnastics. Korbut performed this flip in the 1972 and 1976 Olympic Games.
Several gymnasts tried to add this move to their gymnastics routine, but no one brought it to the Olympic. Olga Korbut has 4 Gold medals, but she has never won a Gold for the Uneven Bars.