2012 Women's Gymnastic Olympic Team: How US Squad Compares to 2008 Beijing Team

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2012 Women's Gymnastic Olympic Team: How US Squad Compares to 2008 Beijing Team
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson's performance in the 2008 Beijing Games was supposed to be remembered forever, but it will be forgotten in about a month.

This year's U.S. Olympic women's gymnastics team is even better than the one Liukin and Johnson led in China, and the Americans will take home at least three more medals in London.

How do you replace a one-two punch that won the gold and silver in the individual all-around competition? Do it again.

Gabby Douglas and Jordyn Wieber are the two best gymnasts in the world. The two are constantly going back and forth, with Weiber being the reigning world champion among her many other honors, but Douglas has always been on her heels, and finally topped her at the U.S. Olympic trials.

These two are just as good as Liukin and Johnson were, if not better. They will undoubtedly win the gold and silver in the all-around competition, with the only question being who will win gold.

The real difference between the 2012 team and the 2008 team is the remaining members.

The selection procedures for the 2012 team have been changed so that the the U.S. has five members instead of six, but there is no getting around the fact that this year's team has better depth and talent.

Kyla Ross, McKayla Maroney and Aly Raisman are not much worse than Douglas and Wieber. Ross and Raisman are both elite gymnasts who could compete for an individual all-around medal if Douglas or Wieber falter, while Maroney is a vault specialist who should win the gold medal in the individual vault.

Because this year's team is deeper than last year's we will finally see the U.S. win the team all-around gold. This team is absolutely stacked and is clearly the best in the world.

With a great combination of leaders at the top, and a balanced roster with five legitimate stars, this team will be taking home quite a bit of hardware at the London Games. The U.S. team has somehow improved from the previous team's high standard, and it will be exciting to watch them compete during the Games.

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