- Before Simone Biles led “The Final Five” to gold at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, “The Fierce Five” set the standard of excellence at the 2012 Olympics in London.
- A combined effort from Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, Kyla Ross, and Jordyn Wieber led Team USA to gold in the team all-around for the first time in more than a decade.
- Additionally, the five gymnasts combined to win four medals in the individual events, including two gold.
- Take a look back at the “The Fierce Five” and what they are up to today.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
When most of us think of excellence in USA gymnastics, our minds probably first wander to Simone Biles and the 2016 Olympics team dubbed “The Final Five.”
But four years earlier, the representatives of Team USA at the 2012 Olympics in London laid the groundwork for continued success at the 2012 Olympics in London.
Nicknamed “The Fierce Five,” Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, Kyla Ross, and Jordyn Wieber led Team USA to gold in the team all-around in London for the first time in nearly a decade.
Aly Raisman, the eldest member of the team at 18 years old, was the captain of “The Fierce Five” in London.
In addition to helping the team win gold, Raisman also won gold in the individual floor exercise.
She won bronze on the balance beam and narrowly missed the podium in the individual all-around with a fourth-place finish.
After stealing Americans’ hearts during the games, the Needham, Massachusetts, native competed on “Dancing with the Stars” in 2013.
She made the finals but finished in fourth place.
Raisman returned to the world’s biggest stage to compete in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
She joined Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, Laurie Hernandez, and Madison Kocian in the pursuit of the United States’ second-consecutive gold medal in the team all-around.
In addition to leading “The Final Five” to gold in the team all-around, Raisman won silver in the individual all-around and the floor exercise.
In 2017, Raisman came out as one of the many survivors of sexual abuse at the hands of USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar.
She became the face of the fight for justice against Nassar and transparency from USA Gymnastics.
Raisman read an impact statement when Nassar was sentenced in 2018, and she filed lawsuits against USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic Committee for failing to protect her and hundreds of other athletes.
Olympic star Aly Raisman files suit against USOC, USA Gymnastics claiming they ‘knew or should have known’ about abusive doctor
She announced early in 2020 that she wouldn’t participate in the Tokyo Olympics, but she vowed to continue fighting to make the sport safer for all young gymnasts.
Aly Raisman confirms she won’t compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in an emotional letter on Instagram
Raisman’s teammate, Jordyn Wieber, was 17 when she entered the 2012 London Olympics.
At the time, she was the reigning world champion in the all-around.
Despite finishing fourth in the all-around during the qualification round, she was not permitted to compete in the final because two other Americans — Raisman and Douglas — finished higher.
Only two gymnasts from each country were permitted in the final, but a whopping 21 gymnasts with lower scores than Wieber’s were allowed to compete in the final.
She did qualify for the final in the floor exercise, finishing seventh.
After her lone showing at the Olympics, Wieber enrolled at UCLA to study psychology.
She was the first of “The Fierce Five” to retire from competitive gymnastics and, like Raisman, came forward as a survivor of Nassar’s abuse.
Wieber testified in front of the Senate about the issue and USA Gymnastics’ negligence in 2018.
During college, she spent three years as a manager for UCLA’s esteemed gymnastics team before taking on an assistant coaching role for another three years.
She was then named head coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks’ gymnastics team in April of 2019.
It's really real ????????????♀️ pic.twitter.com/lPp3TxOZab
— Arkansas Razorback Gymnastics ???? (@RazorbackGym) April 25, 2019
Source: Arkansas Razorbacks
Kyla Ross was just 15 years old when “The Fierce Five” flew across the pond to compete in 2012.
Ross grew up in Southern California and was close friends with fellow Olympic gymnast and “The Fierce Five” team member McKayla Maroney throughout her childhood.
Though Ross did not qualify for the finals in any individual events at the 2012 Olympics, she did help the team to gold in the team all-around with strong scores on the uneven bars and the beam.
Throughout the remainder of her elite gymnastics career, Ross suffered various injuries and officially retired in 2016.
Like teammates Raisman and Wieber, Ross also came forward as a survivor of abuse from Nassar.
She began her career with UCLA gymnastics in the fall of 2016, where former “Fierce Five” teammate Wieber was an assistant coach.
In 2020 — her final season with the Bruins — Ross was named Pac-12 Gymnast of the Year for the second consecutive year after finishing the season undefeated in the all-around after eight appearances.
As mentioned prior, Ross’ childhood friend, McKayla Maroney, was also a member of “The Fierce Five.”
She was 16 years old at the London Olympics.
Maroney led the Americans’ gold-medal pursuit in the team all-around finals, posting a higher score than any of her teammates with a near-perfect 16.233 on the vault.
But in the individual vault final, she fell during the landing of her second vault, which dropped her down to second place.
She is famously remembered for her “not impressed” face on the podium and subsequently becoming a meme as a result.
Maroney continued competing at the highest level for a few years after the Olympics, but injuries continually arose.
She dabbled in acting with appearances on “Hart of Dixie” and “Bones” before retiring from gymnastics in 2016.
She also came forward with allegations of molestation against Larry Nassar.
In 2020, Maroney embarked on a singing career with singles “Wake Up Call” and “Covid Lockdown.”
Source: McKayla Maroney/Twitter
At just 16 years old, Gabby Douglas was the biggest star of “The Fierce Five.”
Douglas was the only member of the team to compete in all four events in the team all-around competition.
She went on to win gold in the individual all-around, becoming the first Black American to do so.
Douglas also became the first American to ever win gold in both the team and individual all-around events.
With an eighth-place finish in the uneven bars and a seventh-place finish on the balance beam, she was the first all-around champion to not medal in any individual event.
Source: USA Today
Douglas continued competing at the elite level for the next few years prior to making the USA gymnastics team looking to repeat for gold at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janiero alongside 2012 teammate Aly Raisman and superstar Simone Biles.
Despite recording the third-highest qualifying score for the individual all-around, she did not compete in the finals because her teammates, Biles and Raisman, finished ahead of her and only two gymnasts from each country were invited to the final.
Still, Douglas helped the team to its second-consecutive gold in the team all-around event and finished seventh in the uneven bar final that year.
In 2017, she came out as a survivor of Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse, meaning all five members of “The Fierce Five” were targets of the longtime USA Gymnastics doctor.
She stopped training after Rio, and in the years since, she has published an autobiography, spoken at various events, launched a Barbie doll, and much more.
Source: Pop Sugar
Now check out 33 stunning photos Simone Biles crushing the competition:
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