My niece and I stayed up until after midnight last night to cheer on the US Women’s Gymnastics team as they made history earning the first team gold since 1996.
Last night’s victory was amazing – but not quite as suspenseful as the evening we watched as the US women clinched the gold in 1996. They were leading Russia as each team entered its the final rotation; Russia on floor and the US on vault. Then, disaster struck. It’s as if the team fell apart the second they saw the vault. First, Shannon Miller stumbled and missed her landing, then Dominique Moceanu missed as well. With two missed vaults for the team, the last athlete, Kerri Strug, had to make her vault in order to even have a chance at the win for the US. The weight of the team was on Kerri and Kerri wasn’t known as the athlete who could put it all together and perform under great pressure…. As she prepared for her first vault, the eyes of 60,000 in attendance and the entire country were on her.
She missed. Kerri Strug missed her vault twisting her ankle and landing on her bum.
Kerri fell – badly – and appeared injured. She had one last chance and had to make it. There was no question as to whether she would do her second vault – the only question was how? On a badly injured ankle, while Bela Karolyi screamed ‘You can do it, Kerri! You can do it!’ from the sidelines, Kerri Strug attacked and stuck her second vault. She earned a score of 9.712 and sealed the gold medal for the US women – the first Team Gold for the US ever!
That night is as etched into my memory as the night that Mary Lou Retton captured the first ever gold in the All-Around at the 1984 Olympics with a vault that earned a perfect 10.
This morning, in honor of Mary Lou, the 1996 and 2012 US Women’s Gymnastic Teams, I made Gold Medal Egg Cups for my niece. This is an tweak on Rachel Ray’s Green Eggs and Ham….
Here’s what I did…
1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees
2. lightly butter a muffin tin….use the standard size, a Texas Muffin Tin is too large
3. Cut the crusts off of 12 pieces of bread – white works best here
4. Carefully line each cup of the tin with one piece of the bread
5. Add a few shavings of a favorite cheese to each cup. We used cheddar this morning, but any melty cheese will work
6. Carefully crack one egg into each cup
7. Top each egg with a little salt and pepper and gently add a few more shavings of cheese
8. Bake for :15 minutes until eggs are set. At :15mins the yolks should still be runny.
My love (or obsession) with Olympics Gymnastics runs deep. My niece wasn’t even born when Kerri Strug vaulted the US Team to gold. Thank you 2012 US Women’s Gymnastics team for giving me a gold medal moment with one of my favorite people on the planet!