US Olympic Gymnastics Team 2012: Top-Notch Competitors Sure to Bring Home Gold
The US Gymnastic teams are expected to bring home a medal haul from the London Olympics. After both the men's and women's squads finished with medals other than gold in the 2008 Olympics, both teams will be seeking gold in 2012.
To medal in the team all-around category, depth is key. And fortunately, both US Gymnastic teams are loaded with top-tier gymnasts, but there are some that standout among the crowd.
Let's take a look at three American gymnasts who are sure to bring home gold from London.
Horton is the only member of the 2012 US Gymnastics Team that was a part of the 2008 roster. Therefore, Horton will be captaining this squad. Horton is known for his overall consistency, however, he has struggled on the pommel horse in the past.
His strategy for that event will be to just stay on and survive, and make up for the lost points by excelling in the other events.
Horton won a silver medal in the high bar event in the Beijing Games, making him the only American male to medal in an individual event in 2008. While the 26-year-old is the oldest gymnast on the five-man roster, he can still compete at a world-class level, evidenced by his third place finish in the Olympic Trials.
Leyva, after placing first in the Olympic Trials, is expected to anchor the US Gymnastics squad. He is the 2011 US national all-around gold medalist and the 2011 world champion on the parallel bars.
Parallel bars and the horizontal bar are Leyva's speciality. He even has his very own signature move on the latter—something called the jam-dislocate-hop to undergrips.
The 20-year-old's overall consistency, as well as his expertise in a couple of events, will help the US in their quest for gold in London.
Wieber is probably the most talented gymnast on the American roster. Like the previously-mentioned gymnasts, Wieber is known for her overall consistency in the gym.
The 17-year-old Michigan native is the 2011 All-Around World Champion and will surely anchor this US team, as she is viewed as possibly the best female gymnast in the world.
While she can thrive in all four individual events, her biggest strength is in the vault, where Wieber placed first at the World Championships.
Of course, all this isn't to say Wieber is a lock to win the all-around gold in London—as she will face extremely tough competition from both her teammates and international competitors. However, if Wieber fails to bring home gold in at least one event, her 2012 Olympic journey will be considered a disappointment.
That said, don't expect to be disappointed. Wieber is a top-tier gymnast and will show why over the next couple of weeks.
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