August 7: Mazel Tov, Aly Raisman!

August 7: Mazel Tov, Aly Raisman! August 7, 2013

Aly Raisman entered the 2012 Olympics under the radar compared to some of her fellow U.S. women’s gymnastics team members.  In the end, however, the humble Jewish-American gymnast won three medals—two gold, one bronze—giving her the highest medal count among all U.S. gymnasts.

One of Raisman’s best moments occurred during the floor exercise competition on August 7 because she was able to incorporate her Jewish heritage into her performance.  The song to which Raisman competed was the Jewish classic “Hava Nagila.”  August 7 was also the 40th anniversary of the murder of 11 Israeli athletes and coaches by terrorists during the 1972 Munich Olympics.

Though Raisman didn’t choose the song for that purpose, she said it gave her performance special meaning once she discovered the connection.  It also made winning the gold medal feel like a little bit of a tribute to those who were killed.

Raisman emerged from the Olympics as an unexpected star

who did her country, her faith, and herself proud.

The human mind plans the way, but the Lord directs the steps.  (Proverbs 16:9)

Help me to walk quietly and humbly, Lord.

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