Summer Olympics 2012: Will USA Gymnastics Make Headlines This Summer?
USA gymnastics will be one of the top water cooler buzz topics this summer, guaranteed. The Olympics bring out the fan in all of us. Swimming, track and field and equestrian lovers will gather around TVs across the country to root for their favorite athletes, but nothing will boost NBC ratings like gymnastics.
What is it about this sport that demands such attention every four years?
The simple answer is the awe and inspiration the sport generates. Everybody loves a winner and the US gymnastics teams know how to deliver. While nearly everyone on the planet has clowned around turning a cartwheel at least once in their lives, we sit comfortably on our sofas enthralled at the gravity-defying gifts these athletes possess. What is inconceivable to most is simply second nature to elite gymnasts around the world—and in the US, it is taken seriously.
The core group of US Olympic hopefuls is strong. Gymnasts work out an average of 30 hours per week to hone their skills, repetition after repetition. At the elite level, it is no longer a sport, it is a job—one that begins in the early years and peaks between the age of 15 to 25, a short-lived career.
So, which USA gymnasts will rise to the top at the Summer Olympics 2012? Let’s take a video peek at our country’s prospects. Get ready, London, The US is sailing across the pond in search of gold.
Jordyn Wieber is the reigning world champion and shows no signs of slowing down. She’s in peak condition with a win at the Kellogg’s Pacific Rim competition.
This 16-year-old is on top of her game and fans around the world know it.
Danell Leyva is on a roll. Every apparatus he touches turns to medal these days. He continues to improve with every competition and the Olympics should be no different.
Nastia Liukin will most likely come back to defend her Olympic gold and she should, but not as an all-around gymnast.
Now 22 years old, she is focused on her best events: uneven bars and balance beam. Her value on these two apparatus events is unparalleled. Liukin’s international experience will prove invaluable to her teammates.
Jonathan Horton should return to the Olympics as a high bar specialist if not in the role of an all-around gymnast. His high bar routine makes fans shriek and mothers cringe.
Horton’s outstanding leadership skills will keep his team grounded and focused.
Alexandra Raisman is no stranger to international pressure. A member of both medal-winning 2010 and 2011 US World Championships teams, she is a consistent contributor.
If her nerves don’t get the best of her, she will shine.
John Orozco is on fire this year. He continues to excel following his fifth place all-around win at last year’s Worlds competition, and recently took gold at the Winter Cup Challenge.