Close your eyes, breathe in deeply, now exhale slowly… That was easy, wasn’t it? Not for everyone…
The Israeli Olympic team will go home without any medals for the first time since the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, Korea, but Jewish-American gymnast Aly Raisman has done us proud, winning a gold medal in the floor exercise as well as a bronze on the balance beam at the London Olympics.
Raisman, 18, of Needham, Mass., took the gold Tuesday with a score of 15.6 to edge Catalina Ponor of Romania and Aliya Mustafina of Russia, the silver and bronze medalists.
Earlier in the day, Raisman won the bronze on the balance beam after the U.S. lodged a protest against the original result. She had finished fourth behind Ponor. Following the Americans’ protest, the rescoring put the two gymnasts in a tie. Under the tie-breaking procedure, Raisman took the bronze with a higher execution score. She had lost a bronze in the all-around on the same tie-breaker.
China took the gold and silver in the event. American Gabby Douglas, who won the all-around, also fell off the apparatus and finished seventh among the eight competitors.
Raisman had helped Team USA take the women’s team gold — the first Olympic gold medal for the U.S. gymnastics squad since the 1996 Games in Atlanta. Raisman won the floor exercise in the team competition while performing her routine to a string-heavy version of “Hava Nagila.”
Also Tuesday, Israeli windsurfer Lee Korzits had problems in the final and finished in sixth place after entering the medal race in second. She was ninth in the medal round.
Korzits, 28, won world windsurfing titles in 2011 and 2012. She did not qualify to represent Israel at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and considered retiring.
The following year she suffered a near-fatal surfing accident while working on the Professional Windsurfers Association’s tour in Hawaii. She was told by doctors that she would never surf again but she rededicated herself to the sport.
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