July 23, 1996: U.S. women’s gymnastics team wins its first gold medal
Did you watch the Summer Olympics in 1996? If so, then you’ll know that the U.S. women’s gymnastics team basically crushed their competition that year. Championing over Russia and Romania, the U.S. team proudly took home the gold for America. Read on to see what happened on the day that the U.S. women’s gymnastics team won its first gold medal.
The magnificent seven
The day was July 23, 1996, when the U.S. women’s gymnastics team snagged its first team gold medal in Atlanta, Georgia. Christened the “magnificent seven,” or the “Mag 7,″ the American gymnastics team included Amanda Borden, Amy Chow, Dominique Dawes, Shannon Miller, Dominique Moceanu, Jaycie Phelps, and Kerri Strug. Together, the “Mag 7” were the perfect team to take home the gold. With the hope of a nation on their shoulders, the “Mag 7” were ready to win.
Go for the gold
However, it wasn’t so easy for the U.S. women’s gymnastics team to beat their Eastern European competitors. In fact, both Russia and Romania had already been declared world champions two times. Once the teams began to compete, Shannon Miller stunted on her Romanian opponent, qualifying for second place. Luckily, fellow U.S. teammates Dawes and Strug made it to sixth and seventh place, and Moceanu made it to 11th place.
America for the win
At the end of the gymnastics competition, it was up to Moceanu to nab the gold for her team. Sadly, the teenager just couldn’t stick her landing. After trying again, Moceanu tumbled to the floor. When it was Strug’s turn, she fell off of her landing too. Even though the Americans had already technically won, Strug landed her twist on a sprained ankle. Nicknamed “Spark Plug,” Strug was literally carried to the medal podium by her coach!