Olympic Preview — Team USA

I feel like I’ve been missing something in these previews. It’s nagging at me. Some fun underdog I’m ignoring, some minor outside medal contender that probably doesn’t have a shot but deserves at least a pity mention.

Oh that’s right. The US.

Previewing the US is an altogether different prospect than previewing the other teams because, in addressing the US medal prospects, it’s no longer about “potentially maybe could.” The US will win the team final, and Biles will win the all-around. Trying to create a scenario where either of those things doesn’t happen requires so many “what if” contortions and imagined mistakes that it’s not even worth going into. It’s still sports and anything can happen, but come on. It’s all about likelihood, and the likelihood of both these wins is offensively high.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t still things to talk about. Like, say, the qualification lineups. Buckle up.

Simone Biles – Reigning Simone Biles 2013-2015
Gabby Douglas – Probably hasn’t accomplished anything, at least that I can remember, who is she?
Laurie Hernandez – Nicknamed “the human Shakira,” really needs to work on her shyness
Madison Kocian – Like…bars?, her leg fell off in February but she’s fine
Aly Raisman – Team great-grandmother, apparently turning 98, wheeled around the nursing home under a quilt because Nana gets cold

Projected Olympic Lineups
Vault – (Hernandez) Douglas, Raisman, Biles
Bars – (Raisman) Biles, Douglas, Kocian (+ possible Hernandez TF)
Beam – (Douglas) Raisman, Hernandez, Biles
Floor – (Douglas) Hernandez, Raisman, Biles

Calm down. I’m not saying I like it. I’m saying I believe it’s the most likely outcome at this point. We won’t actually know anything for sure until podium training

Let’s dispense with the Gabby all-around issue first. That conversation pretty much ended when Martha told the conference call that there’s a “strong possibility” Gabby would do the all-around. That means yes. Martha doesn’t just say random things. She’s not me.

That decision is probably based less on how they’re looking in the all-around than on simple lineup logistics and roles. With Kocian the relatively easy choice to sit on the other pieces, all decisions revolve around the bars lineup. As Martha stated at trials, Douglas was selected for the team because of bars. Someone selected for bars doesn’t get left off bars, especially someone with the second-best routine on the team and at least a shot at the bars final.

When faced with a similar dilemma in 2015, Martha could have benched Dowell on bars in qualification and let the whole gang do the AA, but Dowell was there for bars, so she was going to do bars. Otherwise, what was her role? Douglas is here for bars. Ergo, she’s here for the all-around. Her specific strengths get her into the AA, even if she still looks like the #4.

I’ll also add that because Douglas has looked scrappy this summer, I wouldn’t want her first bars routine at the Olympics to be the team final. I’d want a test run. But problematically, that’s even more true for Hernandez than it is for Douglas. Would you want Hernandez’s first bars routine at the Olympics to be the team final? I wouldn’t really. (It’s ironic that the best argument to get Hernandez into the qualification bars lineup may be that she’s inconsistent on bars.)

This is why my “If I were Martha” lineup would be (Biles) Hernandez, Douglas, Kocian. Base it on simple routine quality, test your question marks, get them set for the team final, nothing fancy, done and done.

There are two counterpoints to that. The first, and most compelling, is precedent. In 2015, Nichols finished ahead of Raisman at nationals (just like Hernandez did at trials), but Martha felt that Raisman’s AA potential was higher at worlds, so Raisman got into the all-around. It’s quite likely that the exact same thing will happen this year, although it is incumbent upon Raisman to prove in training that her AA prowess warrants a place over a better bars worker because the default bars lineup would exclude her.

The other complication is Hernandez’s bars performance at trials, where she was erratic and finished behind not only Douglas but also Biles. If the US starts to feel more comfortable using Biles on bars in the team final over Hernandez, even with her lower difficulty, that makes it so much easier to leave Hernandez off bars in qualification as well.

Are there other things happening at the Olympics, or just this?

The only other minor lineup issue may be who does a DTY in the team final, which could go either way and doesn’t really matter at all.

Team Final
The US is going to win. The end.

I used up all my energy trying to sort through the qualification lineups.

We know the US can fall a bunch and still win, though the streak of no team final falls since 2010 is very impressive, and it would be a shame to see it end.

Let’s see, how else can we make this interesting?

Even during this run of dominance, the US has never won all four events in the team final. Last year was the closest, 1st on vault, beam, and floor, 2nd on bars. That’s the most likely stumbling block again this time, with a hit China bars rotation able to outscore what the US is bringing.

For reference, here are the US margins of victory during the run.

2015 – 5.174
2014 – 6.693
2012 – 5.066
2011 – 4.112

If China does what China can do, this should be more of a 2011 year than a 2014 year. Let’s hope so, at least. Give us something.

Simone is going to win. The end.

This is less of a sure thing than the team because it’s just one person who has to have a bad day to change things, not three. Plus, Simone is only maybe two falls better than her teammates right now, rather than four. That’s all I can do for you. She’s kind of good.

Whoever qualifies into the final with Biles will be the favorite for silver. I’d expect something around mid-59 for a regular hit, while for anyone else in the competition, mid-59 would be a career highlight, best-routines-of-your-life moment.

It’s not a Biles-level advantage, though. There are several gymnasts who will expect a solidly 58 score, so one fall would endanger the silver medal for Insert Gymnast Name. Barring that fall, the field just isn’t dangerous enough this year to challenge. There’s no Iordache. There’s no Komova. There’s no Yao. Mustafina is still kicking but probably doesn’t have the floor routine right now to get an all-time Mustafina score. Melnikova is watering down. They’re not putting enough pressure on the US.

Vault – Now that Biles has upgraded to the long-anticipated Cheng, she becomes the favorite for vault gold. The Cheng is still not at the level of the Amanar as she has a tendency to land a bit short, but her overall execution will be more than enough to keep her in control of the event.

Paseka’s back injury probably makes her less of a contender even if she’s able to go (opening up the bronze race), so really Biles’ only challenger will be Hong Un Jong. She’s an eternal mystery, but we know a few things. We know she’ll be good enough to force Biles to have to land under control to win gold, and we know she’ll submit the TTY for evaluation and then not compete it.

Bars – In spite of the tough bars field, Kocian should qualify to the final with her 6.7 routine. Douglas can also make it if she does her full 6.5 difficulty and performs it as well as she did at the classic, but she’ll also be subject to how many Germans, Russians, and Chinese hit their qualification routines since they could knock her out.

Kocian is among the gold-medal contenders, though I wouldn’t say she’s the favorite. If gymnasts like Fan, Spiridonova, and Downie hit, they could pass Kocian even if Kocian replicates her peak trials routines. She’s clearly in the mix for the medals, though, and should be considered a favorite for some color medal.

Beam – In the quest to give Simone FIVE AUTOMATIC GOLDS that NBC has been undertaking for the last few months, they seem to have forgotten that beam is a thing. Yes, Simone has the most difficulty in the field and will win as long as she stays on and doesn’t have another gale-force wolf turn, but it’s also beam. Things happen.

Raisman can also get into the final here, but the most likely second American is Hernandez, who has very competitive difficulty, tremendous overall execution, and has displayed remarkable steadiness this year. If she does what she’s capable of, she’s another likely medalist.

Floor – Floor should be the domain of Biles and Raisman. Biles remains worlds ahead of the rest of the field on floor, as she has been all quad, and Raisman is the next most likely gymnast in the competition to score in the 15s. They may just breeze through this thing to the top two spots.

Raisman was also the silver-medal favorite last year until she flew away in qualification, and if that were to happen again, Hernandez would be right there as a medal contender as well.

48 thoughts on “Olympic Preview — Team USA”

  1. This must be one of the easiest previews ;). yeah its all about bars and AA in qual. I think camp and podium will decide if aly or laurie will do AA.

    It will be interesting to see if gabby gets her act together or will she be 2 per countried out…

  2. I can’t see them using biles for ub in tf unless absolutely necessary. Maybe then by logistics that means laurie has a chance at doing AA? 😉

  3. For VT, if Paseka fails to medal or ends up not competing at all per V. Rod’s final decision (due August 3), Steingruber is the third obvious medal prospect. If Chuso lands her Produnova vault cleanly enough minus butt grazing, she can sneak in for a bronze (though this is a tall order). No one but Produnova has landed her namesake VT.
    UB-the same 3 gold medalists (of course minus Vika) from 2015 Worlds plus Musty are likely to finish top 4, with B. Downie with outside shot of any color medal due to her high-risk-for-fall routine.
    BB-don’t count out S. Weavers, Shang, Wang, Ponor.
    FX-the most exciting competition will be for bronze (Steingruber, Miyakawa [however had fallen on more than half of her 2016 routines], Ponor, heck even Murakami). GB’s Fragapane at best is #4, but also likely to run out of gas.

  4. I remember the last time China brought a majority of 16 year olds, some unknown to the public at the time, to face a reigning World Champion US team with the reigning All Around World Champion…

    1. China had posted higher scores than US in 2008. Also 2007 team beat China by 1 point not 5. Also code that quad allowed and encouraged D score whoring on UB which China took full advantage of. People need to stop trying to make China as a threat happen. If they come within 4 points it will be a miracle. I actually think they are likely to lose by 6+.

      1. Let’s see how much people are actually trying to make a China threat happen. The odds for the USA in the Team Final are 1.05/1. To give you perspective on those odds, the odds for Simone Biles in the all-around are 1.36/1. So no I don’t really think anyone is trying to make the China threat happen. But when you say that they’re going to lose by 6 points it’s with the understand that for that to happen the US would have to outscore them by .5 on every E score in every routine. There’s a certain peril in assessing your own victory based on mistakes you expect your opponent to make.

      2. People outside the gymternet are definitely not trying to make China happen. But people on the gymternet are. I see comments almost every day referencing Beijing as if it were somehow relevant. I expect the US to beat China by an average of .4 on hit routines, which is the exact margin they beat China by in E scores at world’s last year. I also expect China to count two falls in team finals, which is about their average over the quad. .4*10=4 points, plus 1 point on two falls=6 points total.

      3. I think they’re absolutely relevant. I think the fact that the Olympics are taking place in Brazil, a BRICS nation, has the potential to even the playing field. Western European nations are the old south to Chinese gymnasts competing at worlds, and competing in the UK is synonymous to competing in Birmingham, Alabama. I think with an even playing field and a clean day it is anyone’s game. If the girls just go out and do everything they practiced, you can never guarantee how the result will go but you can still hope for the best.

      4. The judges are the same regardless of where competition is. I have no idea why you are comparing gymnastics to slavery. I don’t even get the comparison because the Chinese did better in Glasgow than they did in Nanning. They have had poor E scores all quad pretty much everywhere because they do skills that are too hard for them to master. They are playing the D score game which is clearly the team’s focus and that’s fine but it is disingenuous to pretend it is remotely possible that China will match US scores on execution because slavery happened in European gymnastics or whatever the heck you are trying to insinuate…

      5. The judges are not the same. The judges are pulled from the same massive judge pool, with some variations based on teams present. China’s 2014 Nanning team was a dumpster fire, but they ironically received significantly more medals that year than they did in 2015, Glasgow. The Chinese men’s team also very conveniently went from Gold to Bronze, fittingly behind Great Britain. Now I’ve prepared a lot of stats on this, meet to meet comparisons. The question is do you want to see them. Discrimination in gymnastics absolutely exists, as it’s a purely judge-based sport. As a result, Gymnastics was one of the last sports to break the color barrier. I can throw numbers, ranks, quotes, examples, and all sorts of different things at you if you would like, however, I need you to decide if your mind can be changed, or I’d waste my time typing. The referee is never unfair as long as he is calling your team’s calls. Sports is just one function of geopolitics, but China is a rising nation with a large economy that deserves respect now as much as ever.

      6. So question. Do you actually think the Chinese will win the team gold medal? Is that your prediction? That’s all I want to know.

      7. Hmmm…I don’t know. Will the judges who gave the US an average score of 181.696 across it’s past 2 year’s meets in international meets (all hosted in EU/NA) show up or will the judges that gave the US a 179.280 in Nanning show up? I think 179.280 and maybe if the US had a fall, the 178s, that’s doable, not likely, but doable. Many people complain that the US is overscored internationally, and other people say “well if always overscored they must just be good.” I have a small friendly bet going that China will win because I want to believe in the girls and give a voter of confidence, but even all things fair I think they wouldn’t and shouldn’t be the favorites to win. I don’t think they would be 5 point underdogs. The 2014 Nanning team was a dumpster fire, it was incredible unbalanced (zero acceptable floor routines), 4 of the girls are in their prime now and were beat out for the team (didn’t even make the alt list) and the ones who made it, Tan and Shang, have upgraded like crazy in the past two years. Maybe 1.5-2 point underdogs if they’re given the chance. There’s no doubt someone on Team USA would have to choke…

      8. Ok. Then I think we are close to agreement. If China hit all of its difficulty with no medium (and certainly no large) mistakes, I think the gap would be around 2 points, which is certainly close enough for them to win. To me, the US has counted no team final falls in 5 years, while China has counted falls. The US also tends to come very close to its D score max. China, because it relies more on spins, has more trouble there. Nonetheless, I agree that if China hits everything out of the park and the US chokes, China could win.

        One small quibble I have is about Nanning. The US team in 2014 was certainly below the level of our current team. The way you phrased things, it made it seem as though the teams were comparable. Yes, China’s team has gotten better, but the US has also gotten better. China would be far closer if it weren’t for Hernandez and Raisman (Douglas is pretty much 2014 level if we’re honest).

      9. I think that’s true in only some respects. For the Pac Rim championship I think both Gabby and Madison were missing, and for Jesolo Laurie and Madison were missing so they shouldn’t be getting max potential scores because they were like A- teams. 2014, depends on how you look at it, because they still had Ross who was older but in shape. 2015 featured Gabby and Aly not too long after returning to the sport so I don’t think they were massive upgrades to Ross and in this case the ever controversial-Skinner, especially given how Aly’s amanar looked at the time. I don’t know how it’ll look in Rio, lots of factors could affect that but at the time of Glasgow she was doing the whole land out-of-bounds feet-spread-apart and then run 3 steps amanar where Mykayla is significantly cleaner. Laurie has improved yes but she wasn’t one of the Glasgow girls (just turned 16). And 5 girls competed team in Glasgow but 6 did in Nanning so more girls, more specialization. It’s a very fair quibble. I have a lot of examples though, but I think we can both agree the US has to make a mistake(s) to lose this. China’s D-scores are rising really fast and it’s a blessing with a curse that we don’t really have a history on most of the girls, at least not an extensive one. Mao Yi though, she should be good.

      10. Yes on Vault McKayla was (and is) far superior to Aly, who seemed to think she was in a track meet on triple jump rather than a gymnastics competition. However, I think the 2015 team was superior on bars, beam, and floor, and their domestic scores validate that theory, or appear to. I think the Rio team is even better than Glasgow. Anyway, all that to say I would be shocked if USA didn’t break 180 in Rio. I actually think China could very well break 180 as well though if everything goes right. I don’t think it’s necessarily likely, but I think it’s more likely that China breaks 180 than US falls below 180.

        Regardless, I would be as shocked if China falls below silver as I would be if USA doesn’t win gold. The Chinese team is quite amazing and deserves lots of medals. I think they will win 1 gold, 1 silver, and 3 bronze, potentially 4. I also think China is set up very nicely to compete with USA in the post-Simone era. But for Simone, I think the US would be only very slightly favored, maybe 1 point ahead, and China with a top day could take it.

      11. Should clarify “China with a top day could take it even if the Americans hit everything.”

      12. Basically. At this point the Russian team is extremely gutted. Great Britain isn’t talented/skilled enough. If it’s a race it’ll be a two horse race. This team has increased D scores since Glasgow, but the Chinese team has increased D scores even more, to be seen if that’s a good thing.

  5. Question as a non-gymnast: How crucial is the rest that Simone gets by sitting out of bars in TF? I get the logic of wanting to save her for AA and am by no means suggesting putting her up, especially if she doesn’t have to. I’m just curious, how much of a difference is it mentally/physically to do all 4 events vs. doing 3? As a viewer it seems like, eh, what’s another bars routine? And then I remember one bars routine is more physically demanding than literally anything I have done in my life…

    1. Not happening. Unless someone headcases. Pretty much a given simone not doing bars in TF. That was the whole point of having gabby there and hernandez

      1. She did and her score amazing. Mustafina hit near 60 with a low floor score. Her goal to help out her team looks like she did. If Biles returns seriously bars is next.

  6. Gabby was the complicated decision, and literally for qualifications purposes alone, It would be hard taking her because she complicates the AA race. But, looks like Hernandez or Raisman is out of AA, sadly. Even though we’d love a Raisman vs Hernandez showdown for the second spot, it’s not happening.

  7. We all know why Martha left Maggie out of AA. She didn’t want Maggie beating Gabby. Why, would she put Aly up in AA. Maggie was out scoring her by .6 on bars & was the solid number 2 AAer. She’s the one who did all four events in TF & her AA score would have placed her on the podium. Maggie was super consistent all of 2015 & Aly wasn’t. It was politics. Who honestly believes Aly had a better shot at AA than Maggie in 2015. It was close between all 3, but Maggie got screwed. Just like at trials. Maggie was told by Martha she didn’t need her Amanar back by trials. Than all the sudden after trials was over. It was she definitely need her Amanar & had no shot without it. Maybe Maggie would have said f–k it I’m going for it if she knew that. Seriously, she had a high 59+ AA score coming off a serious injury. I wish she could have been given the extra time a healthy Gabby is getting to get ready for the Olympics. Gabby is still not looking as good as she did at American Cup & that wasn’t even her best. No Amanar & her bars were only looking ok in the training video. People were already making excuses. Oh, it was only one routine, out of how many. Meanwhile Madison & Simone looked fantastic. Considering she’s essentially a bars specialist & they already finished Olympic training camp. I was expecting much better. I thought Martha was supposed to work her magic. Wouldn’t it be hella funny if Simone ends up outscoring her on bars. I think the gymternet would explode. I’m really hoping Laurie doesn’t get the Maggie treatment. I think Aly & Laurie earned their AA spots. Gabby could easily just do bars in TF. She has loads of experience & it’s her best event. She has no shot at an EF medal any way. At least 5 girls would have to fall to get her in the medals. How can you honestly make the case Aly should be left out of AA because of her bars. When Aly was chosen over Maggie. When Maggie was better on bars & did them in TF. Yes, I know Gabby is better than Maggie on bars. But, Gabby only averaged 14.8 over Nationals/trials & the judges were giving out crack scores on UB. Let’s not pretend Gabby’s bars looked awesome at Nationals/Trials either. Laurie hit 3/5 of her UB routines & when she did miss they weren’t disasters. No falls. So her inconsistency is being exaggerated. I wish they’d have chosen Ashton. No AA controversy. Ashton’s bars couldn’t have looked any better. Legit EF medal contender. Super consistent & the cleanest bars in the world. Higher score for TF. Closer we get with no injuries. The less case you can make for Gabby. I hope they make the switch. It’s never going to happen. But, I really wish they would.

    1. If you choose ashton over gabby, unless you leave out ashton from ub in qual, you still cannott have both laurie and aly both doing AA in qual.

      the 5-4-3 qual format is what makes it so tricky logistically.

  8. If Marta is going by the #s, it should be Madison, Gabby, Simone, and Laurie on bars. Still not sure why she cares about TQ so much when Madison could go up on all 4 and we would still make TF.

    If she is thinking about medals, it should be Madison (bars), Simone (aa), Aly (aa), and Laurie (aa) on bars. A lot of falls would have to take place for Gabby to medal on bars and based on her recent performances she isn’t the second best chance (after Simone) at a medal in aa. People keep talking about how Gabby at her best is better than Aly and Laurie but she isn’t at her best. It seems to me Laurie is still peaking and should get the same chance Gabby got back in 2012.

  9. If Gabby would do AA in the Quals, I certainly hope that either Aly or Laurie outscores her by miles and that she doesn’t make any event finals. At the end of the Olympics, the only “merchandise” that she could bring home would be the Team gold, which she undeservedly stolen from the alternates — Skinner, Smith, and Locklear — and, yes, even from Maggie.

    1. What on earth is wrong with people!? She “stole” a team medal from the alternates? Seriously, gabby is not the one who selected herself on to the team. And after all the uncouth things Skinner has said on social media people are still bashing gabby? And hoping that someone makes no finals? I’m really ashamed of the gymternet right now. What kind of a person wishes bad on other people. Gabby hasn’t done ANYTHING wrong. Literally nothing wrong. Yes the AA conundrum sucks but jeez, the things people are saying about Gabby is making me sick. Who are any of us to say that someone “deserves” a spot? ALL of them have worked their entire lives to get to this point. Everyone deserves it. And I’m disappointed in the many people that are just bashing Gabby. And I am by no means a Gabby stan.

    2. No need to bash anyone. If gabby does what she supposed to do per Martha and beat out either laurie or aly, then she deserves a chance to do final. If she gets 2 per countried out then she deserves the “punishment” for not being where she supposed to be.

  10. I think your right, poor Laurie will get left out of aa, as much as I wish were wrong I really don’t think u are. Gabby really doesn’t deserve that spot but I think she will be given it and poor Laurie will get maggied!!!!
    The only hope is that aly absolutely thrashes gabby in qualification, which I think will easily happen and gabby and Martha r left red faced when the whole world says I told u so!

  11. Are you going to do a preview of all medal-/event final contenders who are not on full teams? Like Steingruber, Ponor, Hong Un Jong, …?

  12. Glad to see you have Aly in there as the 3rd AA-er!! In one of Nancy Armour’s articles, she talked about how Gabby is going to have to beat out Hernandez to qualify for the AA final and via Twitter, I was like: NO. YOU’RE WRONG. 🙂 🙂 #AlyForevzz

  13. I’m not sure what to think. Aly is great and I’m a fan, but I’m not sure the international judges take to her in the AA as they do Gabby. I think Aly is respected by the international judges and they like her beam and particularly her floor, but her vault and bars are just not that pretty to watch. I think the international judges see Aly as more of a 2 even gymnast. In 2012, despite Mustafina opening the door for Aly with mistakes, Aly still couldn’t get that medal. Yes, she tied, but Mustafina’s execution won the day. Last year at Worlds, the international judges downgraded some of Aly’s routines. I think if she vaults like she did at Trials, she’ll get hammered on execution.

    When Gabby is on, she’s simply better than Aly, and I think better than Laurie, too. Laurie is great and a rising talent. She could very well be the star of the next quad. But when Gabby is on, her execution is better. Laurie’s vault and bars will not get the same scores she got from US judges. But notice I keep writing “when Gabby is on.” That’s the material question here. Will Gabby be on? What was really going on at Nationals and Trials? Gabby looked much better earlier in the season. Did she peak too soon? Marta seems confident that Gabby will deliver, and history says Gabby does deliver when it counts.

    It’s hard not to think that there were some politics at play in choosing Gabby. But there are other factors at play, too, like international reputation and how the international judges respond to an athlete. Gabby gets points in both those areas. Also, an athlete’s history counts. How many times has Mustafina pulled it together when it counted most? Gabby has that history as well. In the end, it’s Marta’s choice, and considering what she’s done for the US program, I think Marta deserves the benefit of the doubt.

    1. I get giving Marta the benefit of the doubt for putting Gabby on the team but not putting her in the AA at the expense of one of the other girls who delivered at the P&Gs and trials. I have a hard time with this she has delivered when it counts thinking – what about her fall on BB and mistakes on bars in the 2012 Olympics? Also, if she delivered when it counts she would have done much better at trials because they supposedly count. Let’s be real, when was the last time Gabby was on?!

      Gabby has clearly been struggling with execution but also significant is that her d score for the AA is slightly below both Aly and Laurie.

      To be clear, I think Gabby is a fantastic gymnast and has made an impressive comeback since her break after the 2012 Olympics. After growing 3 inches, she is a very different gymnasts than she was in London. It must be rough to have this constant comparison.

      1. Let me be clearer. Gabby delivers when it counts for Team and AA finals. She’s never done well in the Event Finals. Not sure why.

        It’s a tough decision. One of the US AA gymnasts is going to be disappointed in that she is not even going to get a chance to try for the AA. But it’s Marta’s call whether the fans like it or not. I for one will give Marta the benefit of the doubt. She’s certainly earned it. But it’s a multi-factored decision, and it certainly seems that politics is playing a part.

        It’s too bad she can’t put all four up and let them fight it out, but the make-up of the team won’t allow for this. Does anyone know if that’s even possible? In qualifications, can a team put up four gymnasts for the AA, with the 2-per-country rule still applying? Whoever the Top 2 are go to AA finals. Is that allowed?

      2. Mike C. You can’t put up all 4 AA (simone, aly, gabby, laurie) in qual b/c then Maddie would not get a chance to qualify to UB final.

        2 per country rule is always in effect of course.

    2. WP, perhaps I wasn’t clear enough. I wrote that I understand that with the team make-up, the US wouldn’t put up 4 AA gymnasts in qualies because of exactly what you said–Madison for bars EF qualifications. What I’m asking is it theoretically possible to put up 4 AA gymnasts or is it a rule that a team can only put up three?

      1. sure you can have 4 AA up doing all 4. nothing technically prevents that. nothing also prevent you from also using the 5th member’s routines in TF even if they didn’t do any routine in qual.

    3. Just to respond to Aly and international judges, her Amanar has historically scored way higher internationally. In fact part of the reason she beat Jordyn in London is Aly got an absurd score of 15.8 on her Amanar when she had been scoring about 15.5 at home. Pat year at worlds she scored a 8.9 e score when she literally triple jumped the landing.

      That said, my gut tells me Aly won’t make the AA. I think Laurie will get the spot.

  14. Gabby is the most controversial Olympic AA winner and now the most controversial Team USA member. She is obviously a talent but politics have tainted her legacy.
    Aly will and Laurie will out score her at TQ. Martha can justify it all she wants but no sensible reason to take gabby to the Olympics aside from her name/brand recognition.

      1. Because she beat Komova and a very small but vocal minority of gym fans really love Komova and insist she deserved to win in 2012. The argument essentially is that Gabby was over scored on bars and beam simply because both scores were well higher than she had ever gotten internationally prior. Of course Komova also got the highest international score of her career on floor by an even bigger margin and, honestly, all three high scores were, in my opinion, completely justified. Gabby was punching far above her weight all day, and Komova’s floor was beautiful that day. Komova lost because she screwed up her vault landing, but some of her fans see it differently.

  15. Mike – Are you talking about 2011 Tokyo, 2012 London, and 2015 Glasgow? What happened to what have you done for me lately?

    1. Absolutely Worlds and Olympics. Gabby’s history is she comes through in the big international meets. As for what have you done for me lately, isn’t that what the camps are for?

  16. I’m
    Sorry but you can’t say gabby didn’t deserve her 2012 win and komova should have won, you said it yourself she lost as she messed up her vault, gabby didn’t!!! She had no mistakes all competition and komova did! That’s the purpose of the all around, the best all around gymnast that makes no mistakes which gabby didn’t and komova did! That’s why she won!

    1. If you’re responding to me, I think I made it clear that I believe Gabby absolutely did deserve gold in the All Around. My point was, diplomatically, to explain to those who are unaware why some European gymnastics fans feel Gabby is a controversial winner. I do not think there is much controversy, but those who do point to Gabby’s UB and BB scores.

  17. Yall can cry on and on about who will be left out like you Mrs Karolyi’s conscious, but I believe the final decision will be made after podium training. I don’t think the trials etc are the barometer. Camp and Podium leading up to it will be much more telling. I know these girls will feel the pressure during podium. Can’t wait.

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