US Olympic Trials: What Does It Mean

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Credit: USA Gymnastics


The US Olympic Team was named right after trials night. Your Olympians are: Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, Kyla Ross, and Jordyn Wieber. The alternates are: Elizabeth Price, Sarah Finnegan, and Anna Li.

Olympic Lineup
VT: (Aly) Gabby, Jordyn, McKayla
UB: (Aly), Kyla, Jordyn, Gabby
BB: (Gabby), Kyla, Jordyn, Aly
FX: (Maroney), Gabby, Jordyn, Aly

I tried to put some thought into the order but it's harder then I originally thought. Take UB for example, I was initially thinking of putting Kyla after Jordyn, which will probably be the way it goes in TF, but in prelims, you would want Kyla in front to help boost Jordyn's score. On the flip side, maybe you're sacrificing Kyla's chances in EF if you put her right after Aly.

I kept thinking Gabby and Kyla would battle it out for BB in TF but Gabby hasn't shown her consistency. Alternatively, Gabby was a mess at 2011 Nationals and was able to perform well at Worlds. Maybe having the team selected earlier will help Gabby do the numbers to get her consistency back to 2012 pre-Nationals standards. Based on 3 consecutive missed routines, I wouldn't put Gabby up in TF, as of this moment.

FX seems pretty set. Gabby's shown more consistency on floor recently. She messed up her last leap on her last pass but those things can be fixed. We will have to wait to see how the judges view her routine and all of it's party-beat glory compared to McKayla's more subdued piece.

Benefit of this lineup? Aly still gets to try for an AA spot in prelims.





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Aly's AA Chances
The nice thing about this lineup is that Aly gets to compete in the all around. However, I think her chances of being the top 2 is pretty slim. Gabby has had errors on both days and had enough difficulty and willpower to beat out Jordyn. We keep talking about Gabby v. Jordyn but we forget that Aly is lurking in the background, ready for either one of them to falter. The issue is that they need to falter enough. Aly got 3rd at Trials by 2.5 points over 2 days of competition. Nationals was actually a lot closer - she was .95 behind Jordyn and .75 behind Gabby. I think either Gabby or Jordyn will have to fall or have significant errors in order for Aly to get the 2nd AA spot. Who would have thought that the 4th ranked AA gymnast at Worlds for 2 years in a row, might not even get the chance to fight for an individual AA Olympic medal?

United States of Amanar
I don't know about you guys, but I'm back to hating Amanars. I feel like only Maroney and Ebee should legally be allowed to do Amanars. No one else seems to get the same amount of height to get it all the way over. Kyla was having trouble with hers. There's a video from podium training that was amazing. On Night 2, however, she decided to downgrade again. She doesn't need the Amanar anymore, especially with the gymnasts we have, so I'm glad she, Martha and her coaches decided to go the safe route. Both Jordyn and Aly have had landed lock-legged on their Amanars. It's not necessarily career ending (Sami Shapiro at Nationals) but it's definitely not something you want, especially as a leg, power gymnast. Other than Pacific Rim, Gabby's Amanar has been fine in competition but I still worry and hold my breath, praying that this one isn't the one. I hope that Russia doesn't try for Amanars anymore. Other than McKayla and Gabby, the US' Amanar's aren't all that pretty. With Russia having three bar routines worth ~7.0 they quickly make up the deficit created on vault. I just hope no one gets hurt attempting this vault at the Olympic Games. I'm curious to see where we stack up in D-scores compared to the Russians.





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Alternates
I'm glad the alternates were named as they were. Elizabeth (Ebee) Price's performances at Olympic Trials were phenomenal! Had Maroney messed up on floor, there would be a good chance that Price would have made the team. Price is a very strong all arounder coming in 5th at trials after the Big 3 and Kyla Ross. Finnegan has a stellar beam and floor set so, depending on who goes down, she'd be a great choice for some high scores. I was sentimental when coming up with my 3rd alternate - torn between Alicia Sacramone and Anna Li.  I didn't realize that ASac had the 2nd highest scores on beam for the 2 days. However, we had spent the last few months talking about the need for an uneven bar worker. Kyla is now considered our specialist but should she go down, it's nice to have Anna Li (and Ebee) as back up. Anna Li was 3rd on bars to 1st place finishers Gabby Douglas and Kyla Ross.

I'm happy with the choices for alternates, thrilled that Anna Li, "made" the Olympic Team but I do feel sorry for ASac. She's worked so hard to recover from her Achilles injury. I think of all the comeback in recent years, I have to admire ASac the most. She missed out on making the team in 2004. In 2008, she fell 3 times at the Olympics and placed 4th on vault, just missing an individual medal. She made her comeback in 2010, just getting a feel for things again, and ended the year as World Champion on vault. In 2011, she injured her Achilles. In 2012, she recovered, in 8 months, from her Achilles injury and had 2 strong vaults, regain her US National Vault title, and be one of our most solid beam workers of the year. Pretty amazing and I hope she realizes how much we admire her!


All the girls had such great performances. I'm proud to be an American and excited to see what happens come the Olympics!

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