Raisman—who anchored a winning American run that netted 183.596 points, five better than silver-medalist Russia—is an 18-year-old native of Needham, Mass., coached by Romanians Mihai and Sylvia Brestyan, the Israeli national team coaches in the early 1990s. Romania won the bronze medal Tuesday.
Fellow teenagers Gabby Douglas, 16, Jordyn Wieber, 17, McKayla Maroney, 16, and Kyla Ross, 15, captured gold along with Raisman, the team’s captain. Raisman spoke of what the victory could mean for a new generation of young female gymnasts in the U.S.
“To be able to inspire little girls would be a dream come true,” she told the Wall Street Journal.