Long before she was an Olympian, and before she was named the in the world, Aly Raisman first stepped on to a gymnastics mat at in Newton.
As reported Tuesday, Raisman, a Needham native, started at the Wells Avenue gym when she was in preschool and trained there until she was 12 years old.
Exxcel has been holding screenings during Raisman's routines using a live, online feed, NECN reported. A large group of local gymnasts gathered in the gym to cheer on Raisman during the events, hoping they too can stand on the Olympic podium someday.
After in the team final, Raisman in the individual, all-around final last week.
But Tuesday was Raisman's shot at redemption.
Following a scoring inquiry from her coach, in the individual balance beam competition. A short while later, —the first gold medal in the event for a U.S. woman.
Raisman flipped and tumbled in her floor routine to "Hava Nagila," a tribute to her Jewish heritage. The local gymnast and her family are members of Temple Beth Avodah in Newton Centre.
But Raisman's connection to Newton doesn't end there; she has been wearing during the Olympics that were made by Newton Highlands jeweler .
The local jeweler gave Raisman the earrings before she left for London, if they brought home the gold medal.
Looking for more local Olympics coverage? Check out stories on Newton natives and , who also competed in the 2012 London Olympics.