(FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) – Two women from Massachusetts went to London for the 2012 Olympics. Both dominated and brought home the gold, returning to the Commonwealth U.S. Olympic champions.
Before bringing home the gold, Aly Raisman was just another young gymnast with a lot of big dreams and promise. Her journey to the Olympics began at Mihai Brestyan's gym.
For her homecoming, Raisman returned to the Burlington gym that helped make her Olympic dreams a reality on Thursday.
FOX 25's Heather Hegedus took park in the festivities and got to speak to the talented gymnast about her accolades and accomplishments.
Her first question: "How do you feel?"
"Amazing!," Raisman replied without hesitation.
The Needham native won more medals in London than any other gymnast on both the U.S. women's and men's teams. She also became the first U.S. gymnast to win gold on the floor exercise with a series of tumbling passes that many said were impossible.
"'You can not do that, can not do that. 'And yes we'll do that' and we started 2 years ago to work on that preparation," Brestyan, Raisman's coach, said.
Brestyan has been training Raisman since she was 10-years-old.
When asked how he felt when Raisman put the gold medal around her neck, Brestyan became emotional and said it was a good feeling…a feeling that can't be beat.
Hundreds of girls lined up at Raisman's homecoming in hopes of an autograph and possibly the chance of following in her footsteps.
Raisman's mother, who often made four trips a day to and from the gym so her daughter could practice twice a day, is still in shock. She didn't necessarily think that all this could happen.
Raisman is not the only gold medalist back home in the Bay State.
Judo gold medalist Kayla Harrison trained in Wakefield, and the FOX 25 Studios in Dedham was one of her first stops when she arrived back in Massachusetts.
The Marblehead native say she too can't remember a better moment in her life than when she got up on that medal podium.
"It was sort of like my whole life flashing before my eyes - like just clips and pictures of everybody's face who has ever been there to help me," Harrison said.
Harrison also faced adversity on the path to the gold. She was abused by a former coach and only recently came forward after accomplishing her goals.
Raisman gets a few weeks of rest before going back on the road with the Kellogg's Tour of Gymnastics.
Harrison will continue her training in Wakefield.