Entertainment: US Gymnastics Olympic Trials 2012

From June 28th through July 1st, San Jose has played host to the US Gymnastics Olympic Trials, it is here that 30 of the top gymnasts in artistic gymnastics will compete to prove and earn their place on the five-member US Gymnastics team squad for the London Olympics a month later.

In an earlier post I have touched upon some of the front runners for a spot on the gymnastics squad for both men and women teams, I also went in a little more detail as to the possibility of the veterans from last year’s squad making a return appearance for these Olympics.

Today the Men’s Gymnastics competition went into full swing. If you remember from the previous post the top two guys after the Olympic Trials in San Jose will be guaranteed spots on the team:
Danell Leyva: Placed 1st
John Orozco: Placed 2nd

Not only does the selection committee need to decide who would fill in the last three spots, but as we saw in the 2008 Olympics, they would also need to figure in the alternates. In the 2008 Olympics the two alternates: Alexander Artemev and Raj Bhavsar ended up being a part of the Olympics team after the withdrawal of the Hamm brothers, and in the end became a major factor in the US Men’s Olympic Gymnastics team capturing the bronze medal.

Since only the top three scores will be counted during the Olympics, it comes down to who could bring in the top scores or has the potential to bring in the top scores in an effort to get the gold medal at the Olympics.

Based on the numbers this is one possible way for the Mens Gymnastics Olympic team with alternates would pan out:
– FE: Floor Exercise; PH: Pommel Horse; SR: Still Rings; V: Vault; PB: Parallel Bars; HB: High Bars; FINAL: All Around

Chris Brooks 5th 5th 5th 5th 7th 4th
Jake Dalton 1st 6th 1st 4th 5th
Sam Mikulak *7th 5th *2nd *2nd *5th *4th
* Sam Mikulak was injured towards the end of Prelims, so he opted to only compete on Pommel Horse
Jonathan Horton 1st 2nd 5th 3rd
Paul Ruggeri 3rd 7th 7th 6th
CJ Maestas 6th 4th 7th

But one thing that Jonathan Horton would bring onto the table that most other athletes do not have: experience… and leadership, but would that be enough? It’s hard to say, if they choose to bring in Jonathan onto the Olympic team then I believe that Chris Brooks would be the one to become an alternate over Sam Mikulak due to Chris’ scores being lower than that of Sam’s in most apparati and Sam having a stronger score in the US Mens Gymnastics Team’s weakest event: pommel horse. All speculation to be sure, but still very difficult to decpiher what would win out the day.

Sunday, July 1st will be the finals for the US Women Gymnastics Olympic Trials and right now the top gymnast is Jordyn Wieber. But how would the other women fit it? Well let’s find out:
– V: Vault; UB: Uneven Bars; BB: Balance Beam; FE: Floor Exercise; FINAL: All Around

Gabrielle Douglas 3rd 5th 5th 2nd 2nd
Alexandra Raisman 4th 4th 1st 3rd
Kyla Ross 1st 5th 5th
McKayla Maroney 2nd 4th 7th
Elizabeth Price 1st 6th 5th 4th
Alicia Sacremone 5th 3rd
Anna Li 1st
Sarah Finnegan 7th 1st 7th 6th
Rebecca Bross 4th
Nastia Liukin 7th

Since there are only four apparatus that is included in womens gymnastics and with one slot already tied up, trying to put the pieces together has proven to be a rather difficult process. Since the top three scores from each team will be counted in the team events out of either four or five possible gymnasts it would be ideal to have at least four gymnasts with strong scores in any apparatus. The same idea stands for the men as well, but in my opinion that was easier to put together. For the women, not so much. However, without knowing would happen during the womens gymnastics finals on Sunday there is no way to know how the final team will stack up.

It is rather unfortunate that the darling of the Womens Gymnastics Team of the Beijing Olympics 2008: Nastia Liukin, might not make it onto the team not placing as high as she could have in the prelims. Alicia would have a strong chance to at least be an alternate, but it would be rather difficult to see her any higher than that.

Knowing that the full Mens Gymnastics Olympic Team will be announced on Sunday and the Womens Gymnastics should be soon to follow, it will be rather interesting to see what happens. Well also to see how close or far I am with my predictions.