Back in the United States, the Final Five reflect on their Rio Olympic experience
- What was the Final Five's lasting memory from the Rio Olympics? What Olympic sport would the gymnasts participate in if not gymnastics? The athletes open up about that and more.
With the torch extinguished at the Rio Olympics, all of the athletes are returning to the United States, coming back to a sense of normalcy in their daily lives.
All except for the Final Five, that is.
As I'm sure Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, Laurie Hernandez, Madison Kocian and Aly Raisman won nine medals among them, winning over the hearts of America. And after a media blitz in New York—during which they visited the Empire State Building and appeared on the Today Show, People Now, SI Now and the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon—they embark on the Kellogg's Tour of Gymnastics Champions, starting Sept. 15.
On SI Now they talked about some of their favorite memories from the Rio Olympics based on their Instagrams, and below elaborated more on their Olympic experience, the future of gymnastics and more. Interview has been edited for length and clarity.
SI: What stands out to you most about your experience at the Rio Olympics?
GD: I have to say, meeting different athletes from different countries, really getting to interact with them was fun
MK: It was an honor to represent Team USA and be there with these amazing girls, it was really fun.
AR: The first thing that comes to mind is laughing and giggling. We had so much fun together.
LH: Being in the arena and having the crowd cheer for us. They really interacted with our routines so that was pretty cool.
SB: I think they said everything!
SI: What was your schedule like in Rio? Break down the morning of, say, the team final.
AR: We all were up a little bit earlier. Usually the competition days I wake up sometimes at like 6 or 7, kind of early, because you’re so excited for the day, but I don’t think any of us slept in right until 9:30 when we had breakfast. We’re all just really excited. For breakfast we all had eggs, oatmeal or cereal.
LH: It takes us an hour to get ready and put our makeup on.
AR: We like to take our time. We’re also just hanging out and having fun and dancing to music.
SI: If you could tell yourself one thing back in 2013 or ’14, what would it be?
AR: That was back when I had just come back and I was always injured. I would tell myself to not give up.
GD: I would definitely say that it gets better.
SB: I would tell myself to not be so frustrated all of the time.
LH: Stop stressing out and don’t let other people stress you out, cause it’s not necessary.
SB: Yeah, it’s not worth it.
SI: Do you embrace the idea of being role models for younger girls?
MK: Yes, I think we all inspired young girls to keep believing in themselves.
SI: You guys keep raising the bar. What do you think will be different about gymnastics, skills-wise, down the road? Where is the best place for that improvement?
SB: I guess it all depends on the code of points, if they decide to change it or not. We’re not sure.
AR: I think they’re going to try and not make it that much more difficult because we’re already pushing the boundaries.
SI: If you could participate in a non-gymnastics Olympic sport, what would it be?
SB: Track and field.
GD: Yeah, I want to throw the javelin!