*With the 2016 Summer Rio Olympics in full swing, it’s hard to find someone who still hasn’t heard of The Final Five, the American women’s gymnastics team that took the gold in the team event.
These girls are inspiring women around the globe, not just for their incredible, impossible, gravity-defying talent or their Olympic gold medals, but for their diversity in everything they stand for.
The team is made up of Latina Laurie Hernandez, African-Americans Simone Biles and Gabby Douglas, Jewish Aly Raisman, and Madison Kocian. Not only is it the most diverse team imaginable, but gymnastics pros say it might be the best team in the history of the sport. Ever.
Many are not only calling the team’s victory historic, but celebrating its diversity as well.
Lately the American public has witnessed racial discrimination, the murders of innocent cops, homophobia, and xenophobia that has divided the nation. But these five girls are hoping to define their America in a way that shows how when working together, the achievements can be outstanding.
Each girl has a slew of followers nationwide who admire them not only for their prowess for flying, but for their ability to be relatable to girls– and boys!– of all races and ethnic backgrounds. Earlier this week, when the goal medal winners were announced, gymnastic fans flocked to Twitter to exclaim their pride. CBS News rounded up some of the tweets:
Super duper congratulations to Simone Biles and Ally Raisman !! We don’t need to Make America Great Again. IT ALREADY IS !!! #diversity
— Oktipus (@Oktipus1) August 12, 2016
I love the diversity of the women’s gymnastics team.. little girls all over the country can see themselves in this team and that’s dope
— Rebecca (@rebeccaisdope) August 10, 2016
When you look at USA Gymnastic team, you see the best of America and the synergy of diversity. #Rio2016 Simone Biles rocked it.
— Harvey Jenkins MD (@bodysculptorokc) August 10, 2016
Lauren Hernandez in the beam is just perfection. Love routing for Mexican Americans/ Hispanic Americans every olympics. #Rio2016
— Neto (@Netank) August 7, 2016
Because these Olympic champions are at the highest level of one of the most competitive sports in the world, it’s easy to forget that they’re also teenage girls. Pew Research reports that fully 97% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 have cell phones, and like their peers you’ll find @SimoneBiles and @gabrielledoug tweeting up a storm from Rio.
— Gabrielle Douglas (@gabrielledoug) August 12, 2016
Ever since their win it seems like they cannot keep up with the sheer volume of notifications on all social media outlets.
Especially for Biles. Her longstanding crush, actor Zac Efron, tweeted his congratulations to the star. He ended his Tweeting with a picture of his hands forming a heart while standing next to Biles’ image on television.
Turns out there are a lot more perks of winning gold than originally thought!