Jewish Artistic Gymnast Finishes Second in Finals With “Hava Nagila” Routine

Yesterday, 18-year-old US Jewish Gymnast Aly Raisman beat her teammate, World Champion Jordyn Wieber in the women’s artistic gymnastics finals in the Olympics. According to Arutz Sheva’s Rachel Hirshfeld,“She not only stunned spectators by grabbing one of the two spots in the all-around individual finals for the U.S., but she did it while performing a floor exercise routine to the tune of “Hava Nagila.”

According to Hirshfeld, Raisman said that she was far more emotional than she thought she would be. “I thought I would maybe tear up a little bit but I didn’t think I’d hyperventilate like that,” Hirshfeld quotes her as saying. “I couldn’t even breathe. It was such a special moment and I’m so honored and so excited.” Raisman finished second overall.

The Boston Herald praised Raisman (who is a Massachusetts native), saying that she had led the US women’s team with “confidence and poise.” The Herald also said that it was when Raisman began dancing to Hava Nagila that she really seemed to shine.

According to USA Today, Raisman’s parents have also been getting a great deal of attention. When NBC zoomed in on them reacting to their daughter’s routine, the video went viral. “In the stands, they perform her routine,” says USA Today. “Swaying this way and that, cringing, screaming, cheering, all in animated fashion.”

While Raisman’s parents told reporters that they were slightly embarrassed by the clip, USA Today reports that Raisman found it “hilarious” and posted the clip to her twitter account, saying, “I love my parents.”

According to Emily Bayci of The Bleacher Report, Raisman has often been overlooked on her team, with much of the media’s attention going to teammates Wieber and Douglas. “She listened to all the proclamations,” says Bayci, “How they were going to finish one-two, how huge their rivalry was, how they were the anchors behind team USA.” Meanwhile, she says, Raisman was largely forgotten.

Now, Raisman has beaten both her teammates, but Bayci says she is still not getting her due. Instead, says Bayci, the media has focused on the fact that Wieber did not make it to the all-around finals. “She [Raisman] deserves more credit than she’s getting,” says Bayci.

Filed Under: Sports


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Miranda Flint About the Author: Miranda has a B.A. in political science and has worked over a decade as a news reporter, financial news writer and political blogger. More about Miranda

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