Visa Championships 2012: 6 Gymnasts Sure to Make the US Team Entering Nationals
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Podium training has begun at the Visa Championships in St. Louis -- the next major test for gymnasts looking to secure a spot on the U.S. Olympic team.
Only five American men and five American women will head to London this summer, and the talent pool runs deep in both programs. Heading into the Visa Nationals, which begin Thursday, here are six standouts that, barring injury, should be headed across the pond.
Considered America’s No. 1 female gymnast, Jordyn Wieber had a few problems on bars at the U.S. Secret Classic in May. Nonetheless, she is a force to be reckoned with on the international front.
Many consider Wieber, the reigning world and national all-around champion, the woman to beat this summer.
Check out her balance-beam podium training. Wieber's high confidence level is displayed in every element.
2012 has been a very good year for John Orozco, the all-around champion at the Winter Cup. His star continues to rise steadily as he had another win at the men’s national qualifier held in May.
Orozco’s overall scores were quite impressive, and from the look of it, he should be stronger still in London. Like all competitors, he hopes to peak there.
Gabby Douglas isn’t nicknamed the “flying squirrel” for nothing. This bundle of dynamite soars over bars like she’s leaving the building, then snaps back as if she’s bungeed to them. The U.S. has struggled with uneven bars in the past, and Douglas is greatly needed on this event.
Her all-around scores are good but not stellar, so the question is whether Douglas will be tapped to compete on all four apparatuses, or will she specialize on bars (and perhaps vault), opening another all-around spot?
Without a doubt, high bar is Danell Leyva’s game. His routine is jammed with heart-stopping elements, and he refuses to hold back. It is the stuff that makes fans scream with delight and mothers cringe.
His high-bar routine, along with his vaulting ability, guarantee that Leyva will represent the U.S. as an all-around contender. No question about it.
Aly Raisman continues to prove that she deserves a spot on the U.S. Olympic team in the all-around category. At the recent U.S. Secret Classic, she forged ahead and found gold.
If this young lady has a weak spot, it’s uneven bars. That aside, Raisman is tough and polished. She and teammate Jordyn Wieber will push each other toward the medal stand.
This video is a behind-the-scenes look at Raisman's podium training this week. She performs a "dance thru" opposed to a full set. This helps the gymnast get a feel for the floor without risking injury.
Working under the media radar for most of the 2012 season, Kyla Ross has been able to concentrate on what is inarguably the most important matter in her present life—London.
A consistent all-around gymnast and capable bar worker, Ross found herself nipping at the heels of Jordyn Wieber and Aly Raisman in the last two major outings. Overlooking this confident athlete would be a grave error. She will make an excellent addition to the U.S. team.
This podium training video gives us a fly-on-the-wall glimpse of Ross on bars, along with how coaches interact to secure the safety of their athletes.
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