It was an act made for the big screen, and on Tuesday that’s where Jordyn Wieber and her United States teammates found themselves.
Over 250 people, including friends and family, gathered at NCG Cinemas in Lansing, Mich., to watch Wieber, 17, and her U.S. teammates win a gold medal in the women’s gymnastics team final at the 2012 Olympics.
“Everything is surreal,” said Maddie Bonofiglio, 17, a member of Twistars who has known Wieber since she was seven years old. “Her dreams have finally come true.”
Wieber, a native of DeWitt, Mich., trains at Twistars in Lansing.
Using a live feed from the Internet, the competition was projected onto the main screen of the theater. As Wieber and the rest of the United States team competed, the crowd shouted at the screen, applauded her performance and even did the wave.
After a shocking elimination from the individual all-around on Sunday, Wieber redeemed herself with a stellar effort on the vault, uneven bars and the floor.
“It’s really exciting, and it’s great to see her happy after things didn’t go her way during the first competition,” Bonofiglio said.
Many of the team members have been in contact with Wieber since she left for London a week ago. They had been texting and video chatting her as she prepared for her competitions.
Despite her status as an Olympian, her friends say she has remained down to earth.
“It’s weird getting to know someone going to the Olympics, but she’s just a normal teenager,” said fellow Twistars member Grace Williams, 16.
As they watched their friend falter on Sunday, many wished they could be with her to offer words of encouragement.
“She’s still a hero to millions and to all the girls,” said Nicolle Eastman, 17, who met Wieber at Twistars two years ago. “She’ll always be a hero in everyone’s book.”
But now that she has officially earned a gold medal, her friends can stop worrying about how she will do and start looking forward to her return.
“When she comes home, I’m hoping that we can hang out,” Bonofiglio said. “I want to get together so she can tell us more about her experience.”