After completing her near-flawless floor routine for which she earned a 15.433, U.S. gymnastics team captain Aly Raisman burst into tears when she realized she had edged out Russia's Aliya Mustafina for the Olympic silver medal in the women's all-around competition.
As NBC's cameras zoomed in on the thrilling and emotional moment in Rio, we noticed that Raisman was wearing a very familiar pair of red, white and blue stud earrings — the lucky earrings she wore four years earlier at the London Games.
The Newton, Mass., native said at the time that the earrings were her good luck charms and that she had rarely taken them off. Raisman wore them when she qualified for her all-around final, during pre-Olympic interviews and even during her Sports Illustrated cover shoot.
Designed by her hometown jeweler, Adamas Fine Jewelry, the simple earring feature round rubies and sapphires surrounding a larger round diamond.
“I designed the white-gold earrings in a shape of a starburst with red, white and blue stones,” Adamas co-owner Anto Aboyan told JCK magazine in 2012. “Aly is representing the U.S., so it was a fitting design and color scheme.”
“I love the patriotism look,” Raisman told Boston’s Channel 7 News.
The jeweler had gifted the earrings to Raisman without knowing whether the world-class gymnast would be allowed to wear them during the Olympic competitions.
Officially, the Olympic Committee has no formal rules about the subject. Instead, the governing body of each sport sets its own rules. Gymnasts may wear earrings as long as they are simple studs (one in each ear).
With more than 31 million viewers glued to their TVs on Thursday night as the 22-year-old Raisman and 19-year-old dynamo Simone Biles scored a silver/gold exacta for the U.S. in the women's all-around competition, we're wondering how many people watching at home were secretly coveting their own pair of patriotic starburst earrings.
Credits: Aly Raisman screen captures via YouTube.com. Earring studs photo by Adamas Fine Jewelry. Aly Raisman by Agência Brasil Fotografias [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.