17-year-old vaulter Kerri Strug was called upon by Team USA to hold off the surging Russians and claim gold at the 1996 Summer Olympics. During her first vault attempt, she fell, damaging her ankle and scoring a 9.162. Obviously injured, she limped off the mats and consulted with team trainers. Since a Russian athlete was to follow Strug, she would need to go a second time in order to secure the gold.
Strug limped to the runway with all eyes watching her. She successfully approached the vault and took off. After landing, she lifted her injured foot, balancing on her healthy ankle. She scored a 9.712, and her perseverance and grit ensured that Team USA took home the gold. Strug was hailed as a national hero.
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