As four of the “Fierce Five” Olympic gymnasts spoke with bostonbruinsTV.com last Sunday, they admitted the nickname wasn’t their first choice.
Originally, the group went by the "Fab Five." That was until they realized the nickname had previously belonged to a group of Michigan basketball players at the turn of the 1990’s.
In fairness, none of the five Olympic gymnasts had even been born at the time of "the timeout."
But on Sunday, as Aly Raisman made her Boston homecoming, accompanied by teammates Gabby Douglas, Jordyn Weiber, and McKayla Maroney, the group spoke of the dedication they put into their craft, much like the Bruins or any other pro hockey team does — an observation which belies their relative youth.
“In both, you really have to have a lot of dedication and work hard for both sports,” Maroney, 16, said, comparing gymnastics to hockey. “They’re both really hard, and you compete and do that in front of a big crowd, so it’s a lot of pressure.
“Just like at the Olympics, we competed for our team, and we both just have to work really hard to do that. There’s definitely a lot of similarities.”
If there were anyone who can speak to the hard work it takes to reach your sport’s pinnacle, and the pressure that comes with it, these gymnasts, and a Stanley Cup winning team, would probably be good places to start.
The 2011 championship Bruins played 25 postseason games, three times going to a game seven, before ending a 39-year cup drought. Although it came without the drama of the B’s run, thanks to the largest point margin in the competition’s last 52 years, the Fierce Five won the women’s Olympic team gold this past summer, which ended a 16-year drought for the United States.
For Raisman, a Needham-native, who watched and cheered as the B’s hoisted the Cup in 2011, there was plenty to draw upon as she prepared for London.
“It was really inspiring to watch them win the Stanley Cup,” Raisman said. “That’s so amazing and so special.
“That’s the best thing you can do for hockey, so it was just really exciting and it just made me want to win team gold with my teammates that much more.”
And, as many members of the Black & Gold have consistently told BostonBruins.com, representing the city of Boston makes going out and doing it that much easier.
“It felt amazing. I did not expect to get this much love and support from everyone, so it means so much to me,” Raisman said. “It’s so amazing and Boston has been incredible and so has Needham, my hometown.
“I love how it’s such a huge sports town, so it’s just really cool to be from here.”