Aly Raisman was ready to claim her Olympic legacy. She just needed a little bit of karmic justice to help her do it.
The ever-steady, ever-stoic captain of the U.S. women's Olympic gymnastics team made history during the event finals on Tuesday, becoming the first American to win gold on floor exercise. She added a bronze on balance beam to cap off an already impressive two-week run.
Not bad for the athlete who's the often overlooked core of the superstar group of U.S. gymnasts known as the ''Fierce Five.''
Five days after a tiebreaker cost her bronze in the all-around, Raisman won a tiebreaker to reach the podium on beam and turned the confidence boost into what she called the best floor routine of her life.
''Wow!'' she yelled after finishing four flawless tumbling runs over 90 nearly flawless seconds. Then she raced to hug coach Mihai Brestyan.
He reminded her to enjoy the moment.
''I told her, 'That's the maximum you can get, now just wait for the color,''' Brestyan said.
It was gold. A sparkly bookend to the gold she helped the U.S. grab in the team finals last week.
The victory gave Raisman three medals for the meet. One more than all-around champion Gabby Douglas. Two more than good friend and world champion Jordyn Wieber.
This from a gymnast who has spent most of her career being too reliable for her own good. The 18-year-old lacks the bubbly star quality of Douglas or the driven intensity of Wieber.
What she does have, however, is power to spare and a ''team-first'' mentality that filtered down through the ranks.
''It looked like Aly always did the best for the team then when it came to do stuff for Aly Raisman, I don't know, she could not deliver her best,'' U.S. women's team coordinator Martha Karolyi said.