The question as to which gymnasts will be on the 2012 Olympic team for the USA is still to be decided – with Visa National Championships and the Olympic Trials still weeks away – however, if you take a look at the album USA Gymnastics recently posted on Facebook in conjunction with the United States Olympic Committee's Raise Our Flag campaign, you can get a pretty good idea of who USAG thinks is in the running.
Starting in the upper left corner:
- Alexandra (Aly) Raisman – 2011 World Championships team gold medalist and floor exercise bronze medalist
- Jordyn Wieber – 2011 World Championships team and all-around gold medalist and balance beam bronze medalist (and her list of winning moments is miles long)
- McKayla Maroney – 2011 World Championships team and vault gold medalist UPDATE – Was injured in warm ups at Visa's – may or may not be able to compete
- Sabrina Vega – that's her in the jump photo, too – 2011 World Championships Team gold medalist
- Shawn Johnson – yep, two photos of her too – Won four medals at the 2008 Olympics: Gold (balance beam) and silver (team, all-around and floor exercise) UPDATE – Has officially retired since this was first posted
- Alicia Sacramone – Ten World medals (four gold, four silver and two bronze); the most World medals by an American gymnast. 2008 Olympic medalist, 2011 World Championships Team gold medalist
- Anna Li – Alternate for the 2011 World Championships Team that won a gold medal. Former NCAA gymnast, 8-time All American
- Gabby Douglas – 2011 World Championships Team gold medalist
- Kyla Ross – 2012 Kellogg's Pacific Rim Championships, Everett, Wash. – 1st-Team, BB; 2nd-AA, UB; 3rd-FX
- Nastia Liukin – Won the all-around gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games
- not pictured here, but on the actual Facebook album, Rebecca Bross – Six-time World medalist – three silver and three bronze.
Only five gymnasts will make the Olympic team and in my opinion you could put together just about any combination of five of the girls pictured above and come up with a solid US Olympic Team. It is going to be tough, because only the top placing girl at Olympic Trials is guaranteed her spot! The next four plus as many as three replacement athletes will then be determined by a selection committee. Yikes.
The competition format at the Olympics is going to be 5-4-3 format in preliminaries, and 5-3-3 in team finals. What that means is there can be 5 athletes on the team. In preliminaries 4 athletes will compete on each event (it doesn't have to be the same four on each event) and the top 3 scores will count for that event's score. In team finals, each team still has 5 athletes, but only 3 can compete on each event and all three scores count. That means the team who makes the least number of mistakes – wins.
And, if I had to go out on a limb and make my predictions for the 2012 US Olympic Gymnastics team now (May 2012), I would go with:
- Jordyn Wieber
- Aly Raisman
- Gabby Douglas
- McKayla Maroney
- Alicia Sacramone
- Alt: Kyla Ross