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Kerri Strug Blogs: Gabby Douglas Won by Staying 'Relaxed and Calm'

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Courtesy Kerri Strug

In 1996, gymnast Kerri Strug vaulted into history. The anchor for Team USA at the Atlanta Olympics, she competed on an injured ankle to help secure women’s gymnastics their first-ever team gold medal – and Tuesday, she watched this year’s ‘Fab Five’ win the second team gold. The now married mom of one is a spokesperson for Hilton HHonors’s Support the Dream program, which allows fans to connect with Olympians. "Since I know how much the support of the fans means to the athletes, it’s great to be part of a program where fans can send good luck messages to Team USA," says Strug, 34. While at the Games with her husband, Robert Fischer III, the Olympic gold medalist is blogging for about her experiences in London.

It’s definitely been an unforgettable Olympic Games so far for U.S. Women’s Gymnastics. Gabby and Aly both looked focused and ready for the competition as they entered the arena, and just like the team finals, they got off to a great start on the vault.

In the women’s all-around, momentum and confidence are key to success, so starting on the vault was definitely beneficial to the girls since this is one of their best events.

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From watching Gabby and Aly over the last few months, I’ve become familiar with their routines and moves in each event. As I watched them [in the all-around final], I definitely got a little anxious right before their key scoring moves hoping that they hit their marks.

The Russians were strong on the bars, and were right behind Gabby fighting to take the lead, but Gabby stayed relaxed and calm. She knew what she needed to do and she knew she could do it. Even with a lead, nothing is sure in the finals, but Gabby held her lead by staying dedicated to what she could control – her own skills and routines. Finishing with her high energy floor exercise routine, Gabby really shined last night and I am so happy for her.

Seeing Gabby after the final results were posted reminded me that the many years of sacrifice, hard work in the gym and years away from family are all worth it. When you are training for the Olympic Games you can’t allow yourself to get distracted thinking about perhaps winning the gold medal and so when you do all your training flashes in front of your eyes. It is such a surreal and emotional moment and is something she and her family will never forget.

I was also glad to see Aly finish strong with a great floor exercise routine and it s unfortunate that she was bumped out of a medal by the tiebreaker. I enjoyed watching Aly throughout the entire competition and she showed the world how talented Team USA is.

Team USA has a lot to be proud of here in London. All of our girls have looked strong and I can’t wait to see the individual event finals.

PHOTOS: London Games Calling! Team U.S.A. Snapshots