Gabby Douglas, Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, Laurie Hernandez, Madison Kocian, Gymnastic Olympian Team 2016 Rio

E! Illustration/Harry How/Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

When the 2016 Olympic Games kick off this Friday in Rio, there will be five fantastic and fabulous women competing on USA's gymnastics team.

While this is nothing new in the country's history of the sport, the powerful squad of Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman, Simone Biles, Madison Kocian and Laurie Hernandez has already being hailed as one of the best American teams ever. With their overwhelming talent, magnetic charisma and outstanding individual successes, it's no wonder ESPN called them as the "prohibitive favorite" to win team gold. The receipts already prove that these ladies put in work, from the uneven bars to the balance beam.

After last month's grueling Olympic trials in San Jose, Calif., it was an exciting day when the world was finally introduced to the Fierce Five's equally fierce successors who would be heading to Brazil to defend the gold-winning performance at the 2012 London Olympics. USA Gymnastics' national team coordinator Martha Karolyi and the selection committee carefully chose a group that was strong, technically skilled, experienced and versatile—the perfect combination for a winning recipe. The announcement was rightfully met with hype, enthusiasm and anticipation. Without question, Team USA had firmly placed themselves in the ideal position to win big and bring home a bunch of medals, specifically gold.

The announcement also proved that, whether intentional or not, Team USA had already scored a huge victory for diversity. With a mix of races and ethnicities—black, white, Latina, Jewish—this was easily the most diverse group of women to represent USA gymnastics at the Olympics. And while each woman was selected for her ability and potential to medal, that doesn't change the fact that seeing the different faces on this year's team is important and also pretty damn cool.

Here are the reasons why:

U.S. Olympians Portraits, Gabby Douglas

Harry How/Getty Images

1. It's historic.

Even in 2016, the gymnasts of Team USA are bursting doors wide open. At 16, Hernandez is the youngest member to head to Rio this year, but she's also the first U.S.-born Latina to compete at the Olympics since Tracee Talavera in 1984. Furthermore, Hernandez, whose grandparents are Puerto Rican, is only the third Latina gymnast to ever go to the Olympics. It's a major accomplishment on a major platform, especially for someone so young, but the New Jersey native is poised and ready to embrace the occasion.

"I don't see it as pressure at all," Hernandez told USA Gymnastics. "I see it as such an honor to just, you know, in some sort of way, represent Puerto Rico and Hispanics and all the girls out there. You know what, I don't think that being Hispanic, being black, being white, anything, I don't think that limits you to anything. So, I think that everyone should just go for what they want."

And although Douglas and Biles aren't the first African American women to represent Team USA in the Olympics, they have both already built up impressive resumes of historic proportions. Four years ago, Douglas took the 2012 London Olympics by storm and became the first woman of color of any nationality and the first African American gymnast in Olympic history to win both the team and all-around gold medals at the Olympics. Dominique Dawes had previously been the only African American to ever win a gold medal. Douglas looks continue her historic streak and win back-to-back gold medals in Brazil, but her biggest competition might just be her teammate, Simone Biles.

Even though it's her Olympic debut, Biles is already predicted to win the gold medal in the individual all-around competition. In 2013, she became the first African American to become the world all-around champion, an accomplishment she's repeated an unprecedented three times in a row.

But although it's incredible, Douglas and Biles' success is measured in more than just medals. "They are making history and demonstrating there really are no racial boundaries from the standpoint of participation in our sport," USA Gymnastics President Steve Penny told Team USA.

Aly Raisman

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

2. It's an inspiration to the next generation.

With their positions on Team USA solidified, Raisman, Kocian, Biles, Douglas and Hernandez have instantly become positive examples to thousands, if not millions, of young girls watching from home this summer. No matter who ends up winning or losing, their presence in Rio will inspire the next wave of gymnasts to follow their dreams and literally go for the gold, regardless of their skin color, ethnicity or background.

"I feel I could be a role model to other Hispanic gymnasts interested in the sport," Hernandez told The Guardian last month before the Olympic trials. "But I also want them to understand the importance of being focused, determined and not giving up, despite all the struggles."

Douglas, who has been called "Shero" and received her own Barbie doll for breaking boundaries and expanding possibilities for other women, has also expressed pride in the responsibility that comes with her platform.

"I never would have thought I would have so much influence on these little girls, especially African-American girls," Douglas said. "To be able to inspire other athletes is amazing."

U.S. Olympians Portraits, Simone Biles

Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

3. It represents what America is.

The United States has many strengths, and diversity is one of them. This country is home to so many different races, cultures, and religions, and that's one of many reasons this country is so great. To witness that fusion reflected in one of Team USA's most high-profile sports seems appropriate as they head to Brazil to represent the nation on a worldwide stage. Even though it won't win them a single medal, watching girls of different races and ethnicities come together to work toward a common goal—winning the gold—is a beautiful thing in and of itself.

Of course, it would be great to see even more diverse representation in the future, but this year's team is proof of the progress in an Olympic event that didn't even have one African American gymnast until 1980. As Team USA prepares to send "one of its most decorated and competitive" gymnastics teams to Rio to defend its Olympic team gold medal for the first time in history, they've already accomplished one triumph with a big impact.

U.S. Olympians Portraits, Madison Kocian

Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Watch E! News at 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. for the latest excitement from Rio!

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