2012 Olympic Gymnastics Team: Underdogs Who Will Play Important Roles

Justin WeltonAnalyst IIJuly 31, 2012

SAN JOSE, CA - JULY 01:  McKayla Maroney competes on the balance beam during day 4 of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Team Trials at HP Pavilion on July 1, 2012 in San Jose, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Underdogs make for great stories.

Women's Gymnastics is all about star power; the best are great in all-around competition. But for a team to win collective gold, it's going to take a complete team effort.

These three underdogs will play very important roles for Team USA on Tuesday in the team final:


McKayla Maroney

The world's best vaulter will be on display Tuesday. She just so happens to be a part of the world's best group of vaulters.

Team USA's McKayla Maroney does what no other woman is capable of doing on the vault, and that's fly through the air at the highest heights ever seen.

Her ridiculous heights combined with her perfect turns and spins are what makes her a valuable piece to a possible gold medal run for Team USA. Vault is the only reason Maroney is on the team, and it's important for her to do well in that event.

Maroney doesn't get the recognition she deserves as being important, but there is no denying how important she'll be Tuesday when she's flying through the air.


Kyla Ross

Team USA's Kyla Ross is a specialist on the bars and beam. Her importance on Team USA is invaluable because Team USA isn't too strong in that event.

Ross will be one of the biggest underdogs who will play an important role in the outcome if Team USA want gold. She, like Maroney, isn't asked to perform well in all the events, but nailing her specialties will be a must.


Aly Raisman

Aly Raisman doesn't receive the credit she deserves in terms of being a great, all-around gymnast. Uneven bars may be her weakest event, but she's consistently solid in every other event.

She sets the tone for team USA. She will put on a great performance, which will allow others to simply follow suit. Raisman is very consistent and important to Team USA's overall success.

Raisman doesn't receive the credit she deserves, but maybe after Tuesday, she will.