10 facts about the diverse, strong five women of the USA Gymnastics team
More than half of the U.S. Women's Gymnastics team is of color, and each woman brings her own level of diversity in a sport that hasn't seen much of it in the past.
The U.S. didn't have an African American female gymnast on the team until 1980. Now, the team consists of two African American women, one Puerto Rican and one Jewish woman.
They are some of the strongest women, physically and mentally, of their generation.
Here are 10 interesting facts you should know about Simone BIles, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, Laurie Hernandez and Madison Kocian:
1. Simone Biles has been called the 'Michael Jordan of gymnastics'
Simone Biles has been compared to Michael Jordan for her ability to escape gravity, but her work ethic and resume also resembles one of the greatest athletes of all time.
Biles trains 32 hours a week and only allows herself to take Sundays off. She does two-a-day workouts three times a week. She's the first female three-time gymnastics world champion.
She told PEOPLE: "I used to think they called me the Michael Jordan because I stick my tongue out in gymnastics ... it kind of slips out," she said.
2. Jewish-American Aly Raisman appeared in ESPN's 'Body Issue' last year:
Aly Raisman posed nude in ESPN's 2015 'Body Issue,' but her images focus on her remarkable physical strength and her feminine, yet muscular physique. She emphasized to ESPN that she's gained confidence from what the sport of gymnastics has given her:
"I think imperfection is beauty. Insead of being insecure about my muscles, I've learned to love them. I don't even think of it as a flaw anymore because it's made me the athlete that I am."
3. Gabby Douglas was the first black gymnast to win an individual gold medal
Gabby Douglas made history in 2012 when she became the first black gymnast to win an individual gold medal, as well as the first woman of color of any nationality to win the event.
She was also the first U.S. athlete to win both team and all-around gold medals at the London Olympics.
4. At only 16 years old, Laurie Hernandez has already had to overcome a major obstacle in her career
Gymnatics is a rough sport. But at 16 years old, Laurie Hernandez has already had a major surgery. In 2014, she dislocated her right kneecap, tearing her patella ligament and bruising her MCL on a bad vault landing.
She had to have a piece of a cadaver's knee attached to her own!
5. Madison Kocian's diverse set of skills made her an ideal candidate for the team
World champion Madison Kocian became the fifth member of the team due to her proficiency in multiple skills, but largely due to her stellar performance on the uneven bars. The Dallas native is 19 years old, and makes up for what the team would be lacking on bars.
4. Aly Raisman is the 'grandma' of the team:
Aly Raisman, only 22 years old, is considered the "grandma" of the team because of her old age in comparison to her teammates. The young women range in ages from 16 to 22.
"We were joking, I was like 'I really am going to live up to my grandma name because I'm going to have a heart attack before they announce the names,'" she joked after making the 2016 team.
7. Laurie Hernandez is Puerto Rican, and she's "proud" to represent Latinos:
"I see it as such an honor to just, you know, in some sort of way to represent Puerto Rico and Hispanics and all the girls out there."
8. Madison Kocian was basically born to be a gymnast
Madison Kocian says her mom put her in gymnastics because she would climb out of her crib as a baby!
9. Simone Biles stands up against body shaming
Simone Biles appeared on the cover of Teen Vogue and discussed how she found her confidence through gymnastics:
On her 'stockier' build, she explained, "I was built this way for a reason, so I'm going to use it. To go out there and prove what I can do has taught me a lot about who I am. We can push ourselves further. We always have more to give."
10. Gabby Douglas produced her own Lifetime movie!
At only 20 years old, Gabby Douglas has accomplished more than just an unbelievable gymnastics career. Douglas and her mother, Natalie Hawkins, executive produced her life story for the Lifetime Channel.