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Gymnastics Olympic Trials 2012 Results: Instant Analysis of Team USA's Roster

Avi Wolfman-ArentCorrespondent IIJanuary 18, 2017

Gymnastics Olympic Trials 2012 Results: Instant Analysis of Team USA's Roster

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    After two tense days at Olympic Trials in San Jose, CA, it's official—USA Gymnastics has announced the five-woman team it will send to the 2012 London Olympics.

    Let's take a quick look at the lucky quintet as well as the hard-luck losers in what was one of the fiercest battles for Olympic spots this sport has ever seen.

Gabby Douglas

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    Sunday couldn't have gone much better for Gabby Douglas.

    The 16-year-old Virginia native upset Jordyn Wieber for the all-around title and earned an automatic qualifying spot on the U.S. team.

    Douglas wowed the crowd in San Jose with both her grace and her insane acrobatics on uneven bars. She'll be a contender for the individual title in London and a key cog in America's push for its first team gold medal since 1996.

Jordyn Wieber

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    Defending world all-around champ Jordyn Wieber couldn't hold off Douglas on Sunday, but it wasn't the result of any major letdown on her part.

    Douglas was simply a bit better.

    Regardless, Wieber continues to prove her mettle as an uncommonly sturdy performer in a sport defined by unpredictability. Even with today's setback, she remains among the gold-medal favorites in the individual all-around competition.

Aly Raisman

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    Aly Raisman was steady all weekend long, securing her spot as America's third-best all-around gymnast and ultimately her spot on this team.

    Raisman would have been vulnerable with a major calamity, but the shoe never dropped. She scored 15.000 or above on five of her eight rotations this weekend and managed to keep the nerves at bay.

    A worthy addition to the team, indeed.

McKayla Maroney

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    After a fluke injury at Visa Nationals (h/t Amy Van Deusen of About.com), McKayla Maroney came into Trials with all sorts of question marks.

    And although she wavered at times, Maroney was brilliant where it counted most—vault.

    Maroney proved beyond a doubt that she's the world's best on that apparatus and a strong favorite to take an individual vault gold in London. Her massive scores will also be a big boon to the U.S. in its fight for team gold.

    She might also pitch in on floor exercise, but vault is where she'll serve the most use.

    With the recent decision to reduce Olympic teams from six gymnasts to five, it was thought there would be no more room for apparatus specialists. But in the case of Maroney, her specialty was too enticing to pass up.

Kyla Ross

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    Kyla Ross made her move just in time, recovering from a lukewarm first day to post solid Sunday results and make her first Olympic team.

    It was a gutty performance from a young gymnast that was trending down just 24 hours earlier.

    Though she finished fifth place in the overall competition behind breakout performer Elizabeth Price, Ross' skill on uneven bars accounted for the difference.

    National Team Director Marta Karolyi won't want to cede too much ground to the Russians on that particular apparatus, and with Ross they should manage just that.

The Snubs

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    Elizabeth Price: Though it wasn't enough to earn her a spot in the starting five, Elizabeth Price remains the surprise performer of this meet.

    Price, who has little international experience to speak of, moved into fourth position after Day 1 and never relinquished that spot, finishing just behind the lock-safe trio of Gabby Douglas, Jordyn Wieber and Aly Raisman.

    She was likely done in by her lack of a high-scoring specialty apparatus. Just 16, she'll be a team alternate and should have another crack at making the team in Rio 2016.

     

    Alicia Sacramone: It was an admirable effort from the veteran, but in the end Alicia Sacramone simply wasn't what Team USA needed.

    She was as good as she could have been on vault and balance beam (her two specialty events), but the Americans have ample firepower in those areas. The committee clearly decided that McKayla Maroney's singular greatness on vault was preferable to Sacramone's above-average abilities on vault and beam.

     

    Anna Li: There was some chatter that 23-year-old Anna Li could crack the team as an uneven bars specialist, considering America's weakness on that apparatus, but her overall deficiencies proved too pronounced to ignore.

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