Flashback Friday: Injured Gold Medal-Winner Kerri Strug Gets a Lift From Coach After 1996 Olympic Victory
After years of preparation, one handspring almost ended it all for Kerri Strug.
At the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia, the 4-foot-8 gymnast tore two ligaments after landing -- with an audible crack -- on her ankle during a vault routine.
Yet the athlete was determined to press on in the hopes of helping Team USA's "Magnificent Seven" -- a group comprised of Strug, Shannon Miller, Dominique Moceanu, Dominique Dawes, Amy Chow, Amanda Borden and Jaycie Phelps -- secure the gold against Russia and Romania.
With gold-medal glory on the line, Strug agreed to give her routine -- busted ankle and all -- another go.
The athlete landed upright after a nearly flawless handspring, and the judges revealed her score: a 9.712, enough to secure the Magnificent Seven's victory.
"In my 35 years of coaching I have never seen such a moment," her coach, Bela Karolyi, later said. "People think these girls are fragile dolls. They're not. They're courageous."
Sixteen years later, America's "Fab Five" -- Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman, Jordyn Weiber, McKayla Maroney and Kyla Ross -- scored another Olympics gymnastics victory in London Tuesday, grabbing the gold for Team USA.