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Jewish Journal

Rising star Aly Raisman

by Uri Fintzy, JTA

July 31, 2012 | 4:37 pm

Alexandra Raisman of the U.S. during the London Olympics on July 29. Photo by REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Among the more popular U.S. Olympians is Aly Raisman, an 18-year-old Jewish gymnast from the Boston area whose star has been rising in London for a few reasons. First it was her song choice for the floor exercise routine—an instrumental version of “Hava Nagila” that she had used last week at the preliminaries. Then it was the results shocker: She was ahead of two-time world champion Jordyn Wieber in the qualifying stage on Sunday. Wieber was eliminated from the all-around individual finals since she finished third among the Americans and Olympic rules allow only two gymnasts from each country to compete in the finals.

Then it was a television interview she gave NBC, as Wieber was crying in the background (although the video gained popularity because of network’s decision to show Raisman with Wieber in the background), in which she expressed her happiness and surprise at reaching the finals. And then it was her parents, Ricky and Lynn, who stole the show in a video that shows them anxiously observing her routine from the stands. The video became an instant hit on the Internet.

Finally, Raisman showed everyone why she is here, as her floor exercise routine helped win the gold for Team USA in women’s gymnastics. She is set to compete again on Thursday and on Aug. 7.

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