Tuesday, July 23, 2013

July 23, 1996: Kerri Strug Battles Through the Pain

On July 23, 1996, Kerri Strug won the hearts of sports fans all over the United States after performing a nearly flawless final vault to secure the first women's Olympic team Gold Medal in history. What made the performance so memorable was the fact that she had severely sprained her ankle on the first attempt but found the strength to pull off the improbable perfect vault in the second attempt. After the failed attempt left her injured she sucked it up, sprinted down the runway and performed a one and a half twist and landed cleanly before collapsing to the mat in pain. After she was helped up the score 9.712 flashed on the scoreboard which sent the American team into a wild celebration. When the Americans gathered to collect their medals Strug's coach Bela Karolyi had to carry her to the podium. It was a truly powerful moment in the history of American sports as she showed heart and resilience on the way to winning Olympic gold.

You can watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZRYiOa5lM8

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