With today’s nomination of Isabella Amado of Panama for the tripartite invitation place – also known as the “wildcard spot” – for the 2016 Olympic Games, the qualification procedure is now officially complete with all twelve countries and all 38 individual athletes set for Rio this summer.
The Olympic Tripartite Commission, comprised of members of the International Olympic Committee, the Association of National Olympic Committees, and the International Gymnastics federation, is allowed to name one gymnast of their choosing to an Olympic berth. This exception from the standard qualification procedure applies to countries represented at last year’s world championships that have sent eight or fewer athletes to the previous two Olympic Games, which included Bermuda, Bolivia, the Cayman Islands, Malta, Monaco, and Panama in 2016. Federations interested in earning this spot had to apply by January 15 of this year in order to be considered.
Amado, who will turn 20 during the Games and will compete for Boise State alongside fellow 2016 Olympian Courtney McGregor next season, trains at Excalibur in Virginia and competes level 10, having also qualified to J.O. nationals this spring. She has represented Panama for the entirety of her senior career beginning in 2012, and has medaled at the South American Championships, Central American Games, and in three FIG World Challenge Cups in addition to competing at the 2014 and 2015 world championships.
With a 48.133 at worlds last year, Amado had the highest all-around finish among the other tripartite contenders, and was ten spots away from earning a spot at the test event. It was a relatively weak performance for Amado, about two points lower than her typical potential after uncharacteristic mistakes on bars and floor as well as a fall on her best event, beam, without which she likely could have qualified on her own merit. Instead, she is now an incredibly strong tripartite nominee, and should perform at the same standard as her fellow Olympians in Rio this summer.
A full list of qualified teams and individuals is below.
Reserve teams are Australia and Switzerland.
Article by Lauren Hopkins