The “Final Five” Show Us How It’s Done

by Tech Knight | August 11th, 2016

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The "Final Five" Show Us How It's Done

For­tu­nately we have another qua­dren­nial event to dis­tract us from the utterly depress­ing pres­i­den­tial elec­tion this sum­mer. I must admit that I wasn’t really that inter­ested in the Sum­mer Olympics lead­ing up to it, but I’ve got­ten pulled into the whole expe­ri­ence, mostly from watch­ing the swim­ming and gym­nas­tics events over the first few days. The swim­ming was excit­ing, watch­ing Michael Phelps add to his stash of gold medals and espe­cially see­ing Lilly King defeat the drug-​cheating Russ­ian in the 100m breast­stroke. But for sheer awe-​inspiring dom­i­na­tion, noth­ing beats the U.S. Women’s Gym­nas­tics team (literally!).

U.S. Women's Gymnastics TeamThe “Final Five,” as they’ve named them­selves, put on a per­for­mance in the qual­i­fy­ing round and the team finals unlike any­thing ever seen before. But aside from the out­stand­ing indi­vid­ual per­for­mances we wit­nessed, they won the gold medal as a team in a sport where they were each judged indi­vid­u­ally and in many cases were also com­pet­ing against each other. To watch Simone Biles, Aly Rais­man, Lau­rie Her­nan­dez, Gabby Dou­glas and Madi­son Kocian was some­thing special.

Rather than recap the results, which had the US team win­ning by 8 points in a sport where dif­fer­ences are often mea­sured in tenths, there were a few other things that struck me about these young women. The first is how they were each focused on try­ing to help the team. Dur­ing the qual­i­fy­ing round, three of the women, Biles, Rais­man, and Dou­glas, were com­pet­ing among them­selves to qual­ify for the all-​around final, since only two gym­nasts per team could qual­ify. Lau­rie Her­nan­dez, in her first inter­na­tional meet, was not eli­gi­ble for the all-​around since she was left out of the par­al­lel bars exer­cise in favor of Dou­glas, whom she beat in each of the other three events. But what­ever dis­ap­point­ment she felt was invis­i­ble behind her radi­ant smile and elec­tric per­son­al­ity as she com­peted in the other events. And par­al­lel bars expert Kocian, who was selected for the team just to par­tic­i­pate in this event, received the high­est score in both qual­i­fy­ing and in the finals (where she tied). Dou­glas, too, came back with the third-​highest par­al­lel bars score in the finals, which was the only event in which she com­peted. They each did their best in their own per­for­mances but also to encour­age each other to reach their team goal, which was to win the gold medal as a trib­ute to their team coach, who is retiring.

As amaz­ing as it was to watch this team of women com­pete, it was when I found out how much they each value their faith in God that I became even more impressed. I think maybe the gold medal isn’t the most impor­tant thing to them. Per­haps we could all take a les­son from that.

Oh, and there’s another thing to like about this team. With all the racial polar­iza­tion in our soci­ety today, I for one found it extra­or­di­nar­ily refresh­ing that no one, least of all them, made any kind of issue about what race any of them was. It was their per­for­mance and their cama­raderie in the pur­suit of a com­mon goal that mat­tered. Another les­son our soci­ety could learn from them.

Please be sure to check out my pre­vi­ous articles:

The Left is Wrong About Rights

Ends, Means and Democrats


A note from DaT­e­chGuy: I hope you enjoyed Tech Knight’s piece. Remem­ber we will be judg­ing the entries in Da Mag­nif­i­cent try­outs by hits both to their post and to DaTip­Jar. So if you like Tech Knight’s work, please con­sider shar­ing this post, and if you hit DaTip­jar because of it don’t for­get to men­tion Tech Knight’s post as the rea­son you did so.

Nor­mally i’d link to his pre­vi­ous pieces but he’s already taken care of that.




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Fortunately we have another quadrennial event to distract us from the utterly depressing presidential election this summer. I must admit that I wasn’t really that interested in the Summer Olympics leading up to it, but I’ve gotten pulled into the whole experience, mostly from watching the swimming and gymnastics events over the first few days. The swimming was exciting, watching Michael Phelps add to his stash of gold medals and especially seeing Lilly King defeat the drug-cheating Russian in the 100m breaststroke. But for sheer awe-inspiring domination, nothing beats the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team (literally!).

U.S. Women's Gymnastics TeamThe “Final Five,” as they’ve named themselves, put on a performance in the qualifying round and the team finals unlike anything ever seen before. But aside from the outstanding individual performances we witnessed, they won the gold medal as a team in a sport where they were each judged individually and in many cases were also competing against each other. To watch Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, Laurie Hernandez, Gabby Douglas and Madison Kocian was something special.

Rather than recap the results, which had the US team winning by 8 points in a sport where differences are often measured in tenths, there were a few other things that struck me about these young women. The first is how they were each focused on trying to help the team. During the qualifying round, three of the women, Biles, Raisman, and Douglas, were competing among themselves to qualify for the all-around final, since only two gymnasts per team could qualify. Laurie Hernandez, in her first international meet, was not eligible for the all-around since she was left out of the parallel bars exercise in favor of Douglas, whom she beat in each of the other three events. But whatever disappointment she felt was invisible behind her radiant smile and electric personality as she competed in the other events. And parallel bars expert Kocian, who was selected for the team just to participate in this event, received the highest score in both qualifying and in the finals (where she tied). Douglas, too, came back with the third-highest parallel bars score in the finals, which was the only event in which she competed. They each did their best in their own performances but also to encourage each other to reach their team goal, which was to win the gold medal as a tribute to their team coach, who is retiring.

As amazing as it was to watch this team of women compete, it was when I found out how much they each value their faith in God that I became even more impressed. I think maybe the gold medal isn’t the most important thing to them. Perhaps we could all take a lesson from that.

Oh, and there’s another thing to like about this team. With all the racial polarization in our society today, I for one found it extraordinarily refreshing that no one, least of all them, made any kind of issue about what race any of them was. It was their performance and their camaraderie in the pursuit of a common goal that mattered. Another lesson our society could learn from them.

Please be sure to check out my previous articles:

The Left is Wrong About Rights

Ends, Means and Democrats


A note from DaTechGuy: I hope you enjoyed Tech Knight’s piece. Remember we will be judging the entries in Da Magnificent tryouts by hits both to their post and to DaTipJar. So if you like Tech Knight’s work, please consider sharing this post, and if you hit DaTipjar because of it don’t forget to mention Tech Knight’s post as the reason you did so.

Normally i’d link to his previous pieces but he’s already taken care of that.




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