It was 1996 and I was on vacation in Las Vegas with a friend. The Summer Olympics were on and one of my favorite events is gymnastics. Well that was the year of the Dream Team in women’s gymnastics as we took home gold medals like crazy. The event that night was the Vault and one moment stood out for me that I will never forget. Keri Strug was up and went for her first vault. She bounded down the runway with power and grace and hit that vault like a freight train…
…and landed on her butt.
However, this was not due to any flaw in her vault. She fell because her left ankle gave out.
In Vault each gymnast gets 2 attempts and the best of the two is used to score. So Keri had another shot.
But sheesh…with an injured ankle it was she was likely to fall again. And she was the last hope for the womens team to earn a team gold.
So, Keri limped back down the runway to attempt her second vault.
Again she barrels down the runway with the speed of a racehorse.
She handsprings onto the springboard and hits the vault and flies through the air…
…AND STICKS THE LANDING ON ONE FOOT!!!
I remember literally jumping out of my seat and cheering. It was amazing! She had secured the gold medal for her team. I don’t know what she did to reach down deep inside and pull out such a strong fighting spirit but she did and that is why I think Keri Strug is a Hero of Commitment!
(here is a link to her performance back in 1996…inspiring!