espnW: Atlanta Olympics

Signature moment in Atlanta

July, 19, 2013
7/19/13
8:44
AM ET
Kerri Strug, Bela KarolyiMike Powell/Allsport/Getty Images"In my 35 years of coaching," U.S. coach Bela Karolyi said of Kerri Strug's heroics, "I have never seen such a moment."
On this day in 1996, the Summer Olympics opened in Atlanta, setting the stage for seven women to make their way into our memory banks. And hearts. Amanda Borden, Amy Chow, Dominique Dawes, Shannon Miller, Dominique Moceanu, Jaycie Phelps and Kerri Strug – known as the Magnificent Seven – won the United States’ first gold medal in the gymnastics team competition. But first came the signature moment of the Games. After injuring her ankle on her first vault -- later diagnosed as two torn ligaments -- Strug landed her second vault, hopped on one foot to salute the crowd and the judges, and then fell to the floor. Her score – which was posted after Strug had been taken off on a stretcher -- of 9.712 clinched the gold for the Americans. It wasn’t until the 2012 Games in London that the United States won its second team gold medal with the Fierce Five -- Gabby, Douglas, Jordyn Wieber, Aly Raisman, Kyla Ross and McKayla Maroney.

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