US Olympic Men's Gymnastics Team 2012: 5 Keys to Winning Team Gold in London

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US Olympic Men's Gymnastics Team 2012: 5 Keys to Winning Team Gold in London
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The U.S. men's gymnastics team is one of the deepest teams USA has seen in years but it is still highly unlikely they will win the gold medal.

They have elite gymnasts with great depth, like the 1-2 combination of Danell Leyva and John Orozco, veteran Jonathan Horton and collegiate stars Sam Mikulak and Jake Dalton but they just don't have the skill levels of gymnastics powerhouses China and Japan.

China won the gold and Japan the silver in the Olympics four years ago.  The Chinese return Beijing rings gold medalist Chen Yibing, while the Japanese are led by three-time all-around world champion Kohei Uchimura.

It's different than four years ago for Team USA, when the men were not even expected to make it to the finals and ended with a miraculous bronze medal. In 2008, China claimed seven of the eight gold medals, including Men's Team Final, while Team USA stood on the podium just once.

"People think that China and Japan are probably going to win, but that's the position we want to be in," said Horton in an interview with Voice of America.  "We want people to kind of doubt us because when you put our scores and what we're capable of on paper, we're just as good as those two teams.  It's going to come down to what team has the better day in the team finals.  And I think that just our heart and our passion, everything's going to come out on that day, and we're all going to have great performances."

It's not going to be easy but Team USA has the potential to win gold if all the cards line up correctly. Here are five keys for the men to make it to the top of the podium in London.

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