First Indian-American Olympic medalist!

A huge congrats to Mohini Bhardwaj on medalling in her first, and probably only, Olympics! The U.S. women’s gymnastics team won silver today, 2nd to Romania and ahead of Russia. This is a historic day: Bhardwaj is the first Indian-American Olympic medalist ever, and as far as I know, the first Indian-American Olympian. She’s been working toward this day off-and-on for 21 years.

The U.S. team leaned heavily on the veteran Bhardwaj in their medal quest. She competed in every finals event except uneven bars:

[T]hey could also be proud of the way 25-year-old Mohini Bhardwaj came in at the last minute to replace Kupets on the balance beam, allowing Kupets to nurse her sore right leg a little longer before performing on the floor. “For Mohini to come in like that, with three minutes warning, that shows the preparation this whole team had,” Bela Karolyi said.
They used her in as many events as the team star, Carly Patterson, and more events than any other team member. Poor Courtney McCool was benched entirely due to preliminary round jitters.

Bhardwaj and Annia Hatch nailed their vaults this time, making it look easy. Out of three U.S. gymnasts in each event, Bhardwaj recorded the #2 score in vault and floor exercise and #3 on the balance beam, the event where she was asked to pinch hit. The final score wasn’t close, Romania pulled way ahead on a huge 9.75 score by Catalina Ponor on the floor exercise.

Check out the highlights tonight, 8-midnight on NBC. And make sure you watch Bhardwaj in her individual event finals, floor exercise Mon 8/23 from 8pm-midnight, where she has a shot at another medal.

More Bhardwaj here:

12 thoughts on “First Indian-American Olympic medalist!

  1. yo, we gots to split this one with the russian american community given that mohini is half-russian. And it only proves that indian genes don’t necessarily keep one unathletic if present in 50/50 quantities!

    I kid. mad props to her. I’m happy you didn’t take me up on that bet.

  2. ooops, I take that back.

    check it

    Mohini Bhardwaj was born on September 29, 1978 in Philadelphia. Her father, Kashual, hails from India and her mother, Indu is a Russian of Indian descent.

    Last I heard, “Indu” wasn’t a Slavic name…so damn! She is “fully Indian” after all. I guess cynics are only right 99% of the time :)

  3. hey

    lol this is really dumb but i was watching you in the when you were doing gymnasts and i thought you were really really pretty and sexy and all of that good stuff . i have a ? for you how old r you if you get this mail me back and you are very cute

  4. No one at the Olympic Games this year caught my eye like Mohini. She is as graceful as a swan and as beautiful as an angel. To top it off she’s a Zeppelin fan too. My dream girl. I’m head over heels for her, and would be the luckiest guy in the world to be able to take her out for dinner. Wow Mo, you are amazing!! Good luck and best wishes for the future!!!!

  5. Hey Mo!!!I saw you on t.v. U are just absolutely just a beautiful as can be and don’t let anyone tell you wrong!!!You keep up your hopes and dreams to law school and never say never or I give up. You have the power inside yourself.Best wishes and dreams for you Mo.Love always Elizabeth Jackson.

  6. Mo was not the first Indian-American Olympic medalist. Alexi Grewal won a gold in cycling for the US in the ’84 Olympics.