Who Is In And Who Is Out?
Calling it right now….
This year the Olympic team selection process for women’s gymnastics is at least a tiny bit saner, because Marta will have to announce them at Trials. This gives her a little less time to pound their bodies into the floor until their limbs snap like toothpicks.
Of course, though, there is still time for grueling training schedules, bad coaching, and just plain bad luck to interfere and break any of these girls.
And this is assuming that everyone is in the condition that I’m aware of as of right now…
My best guest for the 2012 Olympic Team:
–McKayla Maroney. If only because her vault is the best in the world and the closest thing the US has to a sure thing for a gold medal. Other gymnasts have Amanars, but nobody does them like McKayla. She might also do floor in TF, IF it is more consistent.
–Kyla Ross. She won junior nationals twice in a row, partly because Jordyn wasn’t a threat, but also because she is a lovely mix of power and grace. She’s unlikely to make AA finals due to 2 per country (Weiber and Douglas are more lilkely) but she’s very useable on beam, bars and possibly vault.
–Aly Raisman. Super consistent on three events and you wouldn’t want her on bars in a TF situation anyway. There’s some worry that her E scores, especially on floor, will just be hammered at O’s, but they weren’t at Worlds, so. She’d be a beam and floor girl, MAYBE vault–but probably not, vault would likely be Ross, Weiber, Maroney
–Jordyn Weiber. has been a lock for years, not even kidding. She’s rock solid, makes the beam her bitch, competes hard and well, and seems to train smart. She will be a major AA threat and may be the only American to do all four events in TF.
–Gabby Douglas. My favorite currently competing gymnast. Gabby has lovely lines, beautiful gymnastics, and is terrific on bars. I’d love to see her table set on floor, too. Actually, I want to see her table set on beam, but that won’t happen. (she will likely get to compete AA in prelims though, which will qualify her to the AA final). Gabby has the backstory, personality and winning smile to become a real media darling, too. She’s black, which is always refreshing is such a whitebread sport. her dad is serving in Afganistan. I realize how shallow and absurd this sounds, but I think its good for the sport to have that kind of star. None of the above would matter if her gymnastics weren’t fantastic, but her gymnastics IS fantastic, so it works!
Other gymnasts who might factor in:
Rebecca Bross/Nastia Luikin: both of these girls are training only bars and beam. If one–Nastia is more likely I think, thoiugh I’d prefer Becca–comes in with a killer bars set, it would make sense to take her. That would likely knock either Raisman or Maroney out– VT; Maroney/Raisman, Ross, Weiber. UB: Ross/Weiber, Bross/Luikin, Douglas. BB: Weiber, Ross, Liukin/Bross (or Raisman if Maroney is cut) FX Weiber, Maroney/Raisman (this is why it makes more sense to cut Maroney) Ross/Douglas
Chellsie Memmel and Bridget Sloan: both of them have a long history of showing up looking way better than expected and both have proven experience being consistent on the international stage. IF one managed to come back with a clean, clear, high scoring bars, they’d have a shot, especially if they happened to have beam or floor or even vault back (unlikely, but).
Anna Li: very little chance, as Marta doesn;t like her and although her bars are really fantastic she doesn’t have a lot to offer. But there’s a small chance that if other bar workers break she’d have a shot.
Shawn Johnson: also very little chance; her bars were never terrific and she has spoken out boldly recently, which means Marta will be angry at her.