5 Things I Learned From The Final Five

I will be the first one to admit that during the summers that host the Olympics, I am not usually one to be excited about it.  My grandpa usually puts them on and we all sit and watch the amazing Olympians participate in their events. This year, however, I took a liking to the U.S. women’s gymnastics team. I’m not sure what the deciding factor was, but I quickly found myself tuning into every event that came on to the TV.

By the end of the gymnastics trials, I found that the five girls that had been doing flips, twists, turns and jumps were people that I could honestly see myself to be friends with.

So here’s what each member of the Final Five taught me this summer:

1. Laurie Hernandez: Take Every Opportunity That Comes Your Way 

It was just announced that Laurie was going to be on Dancing with the Stars. I had watched an interview with Good Morning America with the Final Five, where she expressed her interest for joining the show, and now she’s on it. She took the opportunity when she could and she is about to have so much fun. Not only was she an absolute gem to watch on the floor, but she’s also the most perfect contestant for the show.

2. Aly Raisman: Be A Leader 

Aly Raisman is the definition of a leader. She was elected team captain for the United States team, which everyone knows that she was the perfect for. She absolutely killed it during not only her events, but away from them as well. Every time a member of her team came off of an event, she was the first one there to welcome them with a hug for a job well done. Being team captain is a lot of pressure, however, for Aly Raisman, this is not an issue.

3. Simone Biles: Be Yourself And Be Proud Of It 

There is no secret that Simone Biles absolutely freaked out when Zac Efron surprised the Final Five at the Olympics. The video is absolutely adorable and she had no problem running right up to him. He loved being able to make her day and was able to bring some joy to these very talented athletes. Simone didn’t care who saw her - her teammates or the millions of people around the world - she just did what she wanted to do. (And had no shame posting this adorable selfie on Instagram!)

4. Madison Kocian: Love What You're Doing 

I don’t think that I’ve ever watched someone have more fun doing something than I have watching Madison Kocian on the uneven bars. Madison Kocian loves what she does. I don’t even know her and I know that this sport (specifically this event) is what she loves, and she’s amazing at it. She has such grace and positive energy in everything that she does!

5. Gabby Douglas: Be Tough 

I learned how to be tough from Gabby Douglas. Gabby Douglas got criticized with the hashtag “#CrabbyGabby” after not holding her hand over her heart for the Pledge of Allegiance, as well as people criticizing her face when her teammates finished an amazing round in the competition. Throughout the Olympic games, she continued to get ridiculed from the public when people accused her of bleaching her skin or needing an “attitude adjustment.” Through it all, Gabby held her own, OWNED the competition and continued to show all of the haters exactly who’s boss. She has her own Barbie, how can you hate her?!

This summer, these five girls have taught me more than they probably realize. And who knows, maybe next summer I’ll watch more than just gymnastics and swimming?