Raising an Olympian: Alicia Sacramone

U.S. gymnast Alicia Sacramone is attempting a comeback this weekend. And according to her mom, it's all about "unfinished business."

The medal run has been bumpy, at best, for the world-champion athlete. Sacramone was the captain for the U.S. gymnastics team at the 2008 Beijing Games, which won the silver medal. But during individual competitions at the Beijing Games, Sacramone tumbled several times in her quests for gold -- from a fall off the balance beam to a misstep and spill during her floor exercise. She's spent the past year recovering from a torn Achilles heel, an injury that occurred while practicing for the world championships. Her participation in the Visa Championships in St. Louis, Missouri, this weekend will mark Sacramone's first competitive appearance since her foot surgery. Next up? The Olympic trials. Sacramone wants to earn her spot back on Team U.S.A.

"It would definitely be a big confidence booster because I had to overcome so much to make the team," Sacramone told the Associated Press. "I think it would be such a real sweet moment for me if I get to go and compete and do better than I did in Beijing. I would be happy to end my career like that to say, 'You know what? I gave it my all. I got hurt trying. I came back from that and I still managed to make it.' That would be great."

Early in her career, Sacramone -- like fellow gymnast Shawn Johnson -- would vent her frustration about the sport with her mom, Gail, and talk about quitting. Gail Sacramone would offer simple advice. "When things got tough, I'd say 'Make a decision when you're in the right frame of mind, not when you're angry or hurt and always try to finish on good terms.'"

But perhaps that wasn't as easy to do when she witnessed her daughter take that dramatic spill from the balance beam while competing at the 2008 Beijing Games, just seconds after she began her performance. While her daughter quickly recovered, the damage was done to her medal bid. "Beijing was hard to handle, hard to understand," says Gail Sacramone. "When she fell off the beam, all I wanted to do is just run and hug her. Her dream, right there, was taken away from her. It rips your heart out. It wasn't her time...it just wasn't her time."

Alicia Sacramone retired following the Beijing Games. A year later, she told her mom she wanted to return to competitive gymnastics. "I nearly fell off my chair," says Gail Sacramone. But she continues to support her daughter's fighting spirit. "I think it's just more unfinished business. She so wants to help the U.S. get a gold. So she's going to keep striving and hopefully they'll get it."

The Raising an Olympian video series, sponsored by Procter & Gamble, profiles athletes, their dedicated efforts to make it to Olympic games, and the mothers who had tremendous impacts on their lives. Check out Team Mom on Yahoo! Shine all summer for the full video series.

Also on Shine:
Raising an Olympian: Henry Cejudo
Raising an Olympian: Diana Lopez
Raising an Olympian: Kortney Clemons
Raising an Olympian: Ryan Lochte
Raising an Olympian: Kerri Walsh-Jennings
Raising an Olympian: Shawn Johnson