US Olympic Gymnastics Team 2012: 5 Gymnasts to Watch for Rio 2016

Emily BayciContributor IIIAugust 8, 2012

US Olympic Gymnastics Team 2012: 5 Gymnasts to Watch for Rio 2016

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    The 2012 Olympic gymnastics competition proved to be exciting and breathtaking with a slew of diverse stars.

    As much as the world has fallen in love with them, though, it's unlikely that gymnasts like Jordyn Wieber, Aliya Mustafina, Beth Tweddle and Aly Raisman will be back in 2016.

    It's quite uncommon for the same gymnast to be a star at two consecutive Olympic games.

    The young blood is going to come in and take over the spotlight.

    This slideshow from the Wall Street Journal shows young Chinese gymnasts already preparing for Rio.

    Here's a look at five gymnasts to keep an eye on for the next four years. 

Kyla Ross

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    Kyla Ross, nicknamed "Mighty Mouse," was the fifth member of Team USA and the one who received the least amount of recognition. 

    Ross is only 15 and just made the cutoff to compete on this year's team.

    She would bring experience, passion and fire to the Rio squad.

    Ross is a talented all-arounder and her strengths lie in the uneven bars and balance beam.

Norah Flatley

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    Norah Flatley is a 12-year-old gymnast who currently trains with Liang Chow in West Des Moines. 

    Chow is famous for training champions. He coached Gabby Douglas to the all-around gold medal and in 2008 coached Shawn Johnson to the runner-up slot.

    Flatley's strengths are beam and floor and she could be seen as a replacement for Aly Raisman.

Lexie Priessman

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    Lexie Priessman is 15 years old and missed the age requirements for London by 23 days.

    She is the top young all-arounder in the U.S. and the reigning U.S. champion on the all-around. Her strength lies on vault and she could be a replacement for Maroney.

Simone Biles

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    Simone Biles is a 15-year-old gymnast currently on the junior national team.

    She could possibly replace Maroney as a vault specialist in Rio.

    Biles posted scores of 15.800 and 16.000 in the junior division of this year's Visa Championships.

Elizabeth Price

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    Elizabeth Price was an Olympic alternate for London.

    She hit her peak right at the U.S. Olympic Trials. If Price keeps improving, she could establish herself as a top all-around competitor. 

    Her focus for these games was on vault, bars and floor. There is the worry that she will pass her prime by Rio.

Honorable Mentions

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    Here are some other American gymnasts who may stick out in Rio.

     

    Madison Desch

    A powerful beam worker.

     

    Katelyn Ohashi

    Ohashi won the American junior all-around title in 2011. 

     

    Alexis Vasquez

    Another promising 12-year-old who trains under Chow Liang.

     

    Rachel Gowey

    Yet another one of Chow's hopefuls.

     

    Sarah Finnegan

    An alternate on the 2012 gold medal team.