US Women's Gymnastics Olympic Team 2012: Underdogs Who Will Come Through for USA

Ian Hanford@Ian_HanfordFeatured ColumnistJuly 28, 2012

SAN JOSE, CA - JULY 01:  Alexandra Raisman 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

Team USA may be young, but they are an extremely talented bunch. All five competitors have the talent to take home a medal, despite their lack of experience. 

Jordyn Wieber is the unquestioned leader of this bunch, followed closely by Gabby Douglas. Other than these two world-class competitors, Team USA's medal prospects are impossible to predict.

The other three athletes on Team USA's roster are considered underdogs entering Olympic competition. Let's take a look at which gymnasts will emerge under London's bright lights.

Aly Raisman

Raisman is the team's oldest member, at the ripe age of 18. This doesn't necessarily mean she's experienced, but she is when it comes to Team USA. 

She isn't Team USA's best all-around competitor, but she's above-average in her floor exercise and on the balance beam. She took gold in these events at the 2012 Visa Championships, and that will give her momentum entering this summer's Games.

Raisman's experience sets her apart from her teammates and gives her an essence of leadership. Expect that veteran mentality to translate into team competition.

She won't rival Wieber in terms of talent, but she's a valuable asset to this extremely young group.

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Kyla Ross

Ross isn't your average high school freshman. At 15 years old, she's the youngest member of Team USA's gymnastics squad.

She doesn't have experience on a large stage, but she is definitely talented. Her solid performances on the uneven bars and the balance beam at the US Olympic Trials give her momentum entering London's competition.

Don't let Ross' age fool you. She's proven herself before. Her all-around gold medal at the 2010 Pan American Games proves her ability, but now she has to put it all together in her biggest moment.

Wieber and Douglas are excellent talents, but help wouldn't hurt. Look for Ross and Raisman to provide the support Team USA's dynamic duo needs.

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