US Olympic Gymnastics Trials Results 2012: The 5 Women Who Should Make Team USA
By the end of the night on July 1, Team USA will have its women's gymnastics team finalized and ready to fly off to London for the 2012 Olympic Games. The current field of hopefuls features a mix of athletes from the 2008 Beijing games as well as new young talent looking to reach their first ever Olympics.
Here's a look at who should make the final cut and represent the stars and stripes across the pond.
Sixteen-year-old Gabby Douglas currently finds herself second in the all-around standings heading into the final, with a virtual lock on becoming one of the five women to make the team.
While the uneven bars proved a bit of a challenge for the young gymnast, she showed off her talent on the floor and vault, which is one of the main reasons she currently finds herself in a such a favorable spot.
Douglas caught up with Mark Emmert of the Des Moines Register and talked about what making the team would mean to her:
I’m just going to, like, cry. I’m going to be like, ‘Finally, my hard work has paid off.' I was the underdog before and now I’m starting to rise up. You know, God has a plan for me and I’m going to follow in his footsteps and just rejoice and be happy.
What Douglas lacks in experience is made up for in potential, and her early performance during the trials showed she could be a very valuable member of Team USA's pursuit of dominating the field.
Alicia Sacramone was one of the best competitors the 2008 version of Team USA had to offer in Beijing, and she could easily be that for the 2012 edition.
The 24-year-old isn't in the prime of her career anymore, but she currently finds herself fifth overall after an impressive showing last Friday.
Considering her shoulder surgery in 2010 and suffering a torn Achilles tendon injury in 2011, Sacramone has had a long journey back to competition. She returned from the Achilles injury by finishing first on the vault and third on beam in the 2012 Visa National Championships.
Don't mistake Sacramone for a washed-up veteran not knowing when to call it quits. Her experience on the Olympic stage and her still-formidable ability in competition would be a huge asset to Team USA's cause in London.
Just 16 years old, Jordyn Wieber already has won more competitive championships than the amount of "you get one for participating" soccer trophies I earned as a kid.
Wieber is the current leader heading into the July 1 final, hoping to add the biggest accomplishment to her already impressive career.
The 5'2" gymnast is a 2008 U.S. Junior National Champion, two-time U.S. Senior National Champion and three-time American Cup Champion.
One could argue Wieber is the most likely to win Olympic gold out of all the hopefuls, and you would hear no complaints here. She's clearly in the prime of her career with all of the aforementioned championships coming between 2008 and 2012.
Wieber is a certain lock for the team pending a catastrophic turn of events. She'll be one of, if not the most talented athlete on the roster when all is said and done.
It's been a disappointing showing from the 2008 Olympian Nastia Liukin during the trials. But this is a list of who should make the roster, not who will.
Liukin doesn't have a huge chance of making it to London, considering she heads into the final ranking second-to-last in the standings. That being said, she took home gold in Beijing in the all-around, and even with three years away from the sport, she could have that same result in London.
Like Alicia Sacramone, Liukin is no longer in the prime of her career at age 22, but her talents are still in tact.
She placed sixth overall on the beam at the 2012 Visa Championships, which shouldn't be shrugged off considering her significant time away from the sport prior to competing.
Liukin has one last Olympic medal in her, but unfortunately it looks as if she will not have the chance to prove it.
Aly Raisman currently sits at third overall in the standings after showing off her floor skills last Friday, and she'll likely do more showing off in the finals.
Raisman has been training with Alicia Sacramone in recent years and could be described as a younger version of the former Olympian.
That training is certainly noticeable considering her second-place finish at the 2012 American Cup in the the all-around while taking home a team gold medal in 2011 at the World Championships in Tokyo.
Raisman would be a huge addition to Team USA, and if she puts together a performance similar what she did last Friday, she shouldn't have any problem cashing her ticket to London.