The Godfather Of US Gymnastics Calls McKayla Maroney’s Vault the Best Ever in an Awesome NBC Interview

Tony Manfred
Business Insider

Charismatic USA gymnastics honcho Bela Karolyi went on NBC this morning to discuss McKayla Maroney’s superb vault in yesterday’s women’s gymnastics team final.

In typical Bela fashion, he called it the most perfectly performed vault in the history of gymnastics. After that, he entertainingly rambled about the awe-inspired judges.

We love Bela:

Also at Business Insider, Even the Judges Were Amazed By McKayla Maroney’s Perfect Vault


The International Olympic Committee, cowed by the threat of a boycott by Arab nations, refused to give a moment of silence in London’s opening ceremony to honor 11 Israeli Olympians murdered 40 years ago by Palestinian terrorists at the Munich Olympics…

…In that context, it was a special pleasure to watch Aly Raisman tumble her team to Olympic Gold in women’s gymnastics to a blasting, upbeat version of “Hava Nagila,” the Hebrew folk song and Bar Mitzvah favorite. Raisman, “a nice Jewish girl from Massachusetts,” as she’s affectionately described by the Israeli press is one of the Fab Five who together ended a 16-year drought for American women’s gymnastics atop the team podium Tuesday.

She and her family and coaches chose the song with purpose

…Watching a strong, beautiful Jewish woman finish her last tumbling pass, triumphant, as the whole stadium clapped along to a Hebrew folk song of celebration was a great moment— a moving, joyous contrast to Munich and an example of the kind of cultural tribute that’s unstoppable in free people, no matter what the IOC says…

There’s more Olympic video from NBC here.

And more about the Fab Five’s win on Tuesday night.

Related: By Daniel Hannan, No one would be cheering Team Europe

It is by the merest chance that we are cheering Team GB this week rather than Team EU. At the 1992 Barcelona Games, the European Commission demanded the creation of a united team that would compete in a blue-and-gold strip, mount the podium to the strains of Beethoven’s Ninth and tot up a European tally on the medals table. Fortunately, the scheme broke down in arguments between the EU and the IOC over money, though that didn’t stop the French President, François Hollande, from insisting this week that “it’s the European medals total that counts”.

Only a politician or a Eurocrat could say such a thing. Sporting events are a reminder of the many and complex elements that define nationhood…

Pride: Team USA stands at the centre of the Olympic podium with silver medallists Russia, left, and bronze medallists Romania, right. Click on the image to enlarge.

Update: IRS Taxes Olympic Medals

…According to U.S. tax law, Olympians must add the value of their medals to their taxable income and are therefore liable for a tax of up to 35% on medals they receive from competing…

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