The Visa Championships event in St. Louis, MO is right around the corner. Not only will a king and queen be crowned as US national champions the second weekend in June, also at stake are berths to represent the US at the 2012 Olympic games.
Ten members will be chosen at the conclusion of the Olympic Trials in San Jose, CA June 28-July 1. However, only the winner for the women and the top two place finishers for the men are automatically heading to London. The rest, including up to six back up athletes are to be determined by a selection committee. This means, a lot is riding on the upcoming national championships for 13 hopefuls. All competitors must be at least 16-years old by December 31, 2012 to compete in the XXX Summer Olympic Games.
With the aroma of fish and chips in the air, this is a good time to take a peek at the contenders.
For more information on the selection process, click here.
Jordyn Wieber is here to defend her national all around gold medal. She recently won the Kellogg’s Pacific Rim AA title in Everett, WA and is the reigning world champion. She’s riding high and a powerhouse all-around gymnast.
Rebecca Bross was gymnastics’ poster girl in 2010, but has been plagued by injuries, including a dislocated knee at the 2011 US Nationals. Still she secured a silver medal in FX and an eighth place finish on beam. If she can step onto the podium in good condition, this feisty 18-year old will definitely be a contender.
McKayla Maroney is one of the national team’s best vaulters, proving it at the 2010 Junior Nationals by sticking an Amanar. Don’t know what that is? Check it out here. Maroney grabbed silver for the AA at last years nationals and first place for vault. No surprise.
Bridget Sloan helped the US bring home the silver at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. This may be her last shot to join the team before she heads off to the University of Florida. A strong beam worker, Sloan will bring experience to the group.
Anastasia Liukin, or Nastia as she’s known is a superstar in the world of gymnastics. Her list of accomplishments is as long as a balance beam, including the reigning AA Olympic champion. She was offered a spot on the national team to compete at Worlds 2009, but opted out because she felt her skills were not up to standards. She has been working hard to make a comeback for 2012.
Alexandra Raisman has two US Nationals individual bronze medals around her neck for AA and FX. At last year’s Worlds, she took third in FX. When it comes to tumbling, this young lady can full-in, double back with the big dogs and shows great promise.
Alicia Sacramone is also a member of the 2008 silver medal Olympic team. In 2011 she aided her team in their gold medal win at Worlds. This seasoned competitor is also very in tune with her teammates. Her leadership skills would be welcomed.
Shawn Johnson hopes to come back to the Olympics to capture gold for her team. Even a skiing accident in 2010 that tore her ACL won't stop her. Finished with rehab, Johnson is now in good form, working out and continues to attend US Training Center camps.
Gabrielle Douglas has been sporting gold lately with first place finishes, including AA Team and individual uneven bars (UB) at the Kellogg’s Pacific Rim Championships last March. The US needs good bar workers and she just may fit the bill.