The 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials Day Two Live Blog

Welcome to the live blog for the second day of competition at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials! We’re here in San Jose at the SAP Center and will be posting all updates as they happen during today’s competition. Refresh your browser every 3-5 minutes and the most recent updates will appear on the top. Have a question? Tweet us @thegymterdotnet!

8:14 pm. Going back to do interviews! I loved to see Gabby crying happy tears. I think she knows she’s lucky she has Martha on her side right now. It was definitely still going to happen for her, but those mistakes coming in this last-minute have to get in your head and make you think “what if.” I never questioned if she was going, but you always still have to think like…how does one justify that? But Martha is Martha and doesn’t have to justify SHIIIIIZ.

8:10 pm. Sorry if you’re following on Twitter, Twitter literally died the second I went to tweet the team.

8:09 pm. 2016 Olympic team is Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, Laurie Hernandez, Madison Kocian and Aly Raisman with alternates MyKayla Skinner, Ragan Smith, and Ashton Locklear!!!

8:04 pm. Okay, this stuff is done with and I THINK THE TEAM IS COMING.

8:02 pm. John Orozco just sang some opera because he’s like, super fantastic. Meanwhile I am on my seventh panic attack.

7:59 pm. Macready is interviewing the men. Sam Mikulak is super excited. The alternates are here too, which is nice.

7:58 pm. U.S. trampoline team is coming out, and now the men’s team is joining them. Actually super glad they decided to bring the trampoline kids out as well because they deserve the biggest full team celebration as well! Rhythmic is competing in Russia right now so they’re not here.

7:57 pm. Acro team is done performing! The committee is in the final stages of selecting the team, according to the announcer.

7:54 pm. I can’t take it anymore!!!! I’m screaming. Someone name this team immediately. Can we talk about MyKayla breaking 59 two days in a row and placing fourth at OLYMPIC TRIALS and going 8 for 8 and basically killing it? Most were starting to wind down this weekend, but MyKayla was on the up ramp all the way. Taking off and flying away. My heart will break for her if/when this doesn’t work out for her. But she will absolutely be an alternate.

7:51 pm. An acro team is performing “Uptown Girl” and I just watched Trainwreck on my flight here so I’m like giggle giggle.

7:47 pm. I’m casually freaking out and screaming here so don’t even worry about it. I’m so freaking nervous. I really think Gabby falling on three of her four beams could hurt her, as could placing seventh. Again, if she wasn’t Gabby Douglas, she wouldn’t be in the conversation. But I get why she is. I know the precedent she’s set. I know why they’d want her there. And I agree with their reasoning even if it isn’t what I personally would do.

7:43 pm. The gymnasts have just left the arena and will wait backstage for the team to be named. EEEEE.

7:41 pm. Final Standings

1. Simone Biles 123.25
2. Laurie Hernandez 121.15
3. Aly Raisman 119.75
4. MyKayla Skinner 118.6
5. Ragan Smith 117.75
6. Maggie Nichols 117.6
7. Gabby Douglas 117.45
8. Madison Kocian 117.05
9. Amelia Hundley 116.85
10. Brenna Dowell 116.6
11. Rachel Gowey 114.25
12. Christina Desiderio 112.15
13. Emily Schild 111.95
14. Ashton Locklear 59.05

7:40 pm. Crowd is chanting LAURIE, LAURIE, LAURIE. She is OWNING THIS MEET. Truly her coming out party. 15.7 on beam!!!!!!! 6.5 D, 9.2 E. I’m okay with that. Today’s AA is 60.3!

7:37 pm. Hernandez BB- Punch front pike, solid. Kills the bhs loso loso, much better than day one. Great punch front + wolf jump. Side aerial with the tiniest adjustment. Switch + switch half is good. Switch ring. Double pike with a hop. Hugest smile ever. Seal. That. DEAL.

Dowell’s AA today was 58.7! Locklear’s beam bumped up to 14.4.

Skinner FX 14.8 (6.6 D, 8.5 E, -0.3 penalties) – would’ve been 15.1 without the OOB. Amazing. 59.15 AA for today should keep her in fourth.

7:34 pm. Skinner FX- Her cheering section is right behind me and so here for this. Please kill it, girl. Nails double double layout which is great in the air but gets a small hop back and OOB. Kills the double double tuck landing. Full-in is great. 1.5 through to 2.5 with a little step. GET IT MYK. Omg she celebrates and dances her way off. HER ATTITUDE.

Raisman FX 15.05 (6.4 D, 8.95 E, -0.3 penalties) – AA for today is 59.8, slightly less than yesterday. Hernandez needs a 14.3 on beam to surpass her, which she should do pretty easily.

Dowell BB 14.15 (5.8 D, 8.35 E)

7:32 pm. Dowell BB- Crowd loves her mount again, though she stumbles on the front aerial. Crowd loves her Kochetkova, bhs loso is good. Hits switch to switch side. Supposed to be switch half but who even cares at this point? Just get it Brenna. Does a switch half on its own, side aerial, double pike with her chest slightly down. One of her better beams aside from the wobble and she comes off with a big smile.

7:29 pm. Raisman FX- I have never rooted for someone as hard in my life as I’ve rooted for Aly, dating back to the first time I saw her compete live at the 2010 American Cup. I can’t believe she is about to make her second Olympics happen. She is my hero. I am going to cry harder than her and her parents combined and I’m not even ashamed. 1.5 through to double arabian to front layout goes out-of-bounds which is a shame because she had literally six feet to spare in the warm-up. She’ll be mad at herself about that but she’s got this. Crowd claps before Dos Santos into stag which is excellent. Nails double layout, just a tiny bounce. Good work on her leaps. Double pike with  small hop. BALLER.

Biles BB 14.75 BB (6.7 D, 8.05 E) – AA is 61.4, only half a point less than Friday despite the fall

7:26 pm. Biles BB- This is it. One more routine and she will secure her Olympic spot. Though she can afford to fall basically three times and still win this meet so I don’t think she should worry about that. PERFECT 2.5 wolf turn. She’s like that’s what you get from messing up on night one. Hits jumps, FALLS ON BARANI. I hope I didn’t jinx her. Whatever, she’s still got it. But I know she’ll be pissed about that. Nails bhs loso loso. Switch half + back pike is great. Front aerial + wolf jump. Full-in dismount with a slight hop back. Her face isn’t conveying anything really and she goes in for a hug from Aimee.

Kocian FX 14.7 (5.8 D, 8.9 E) – AA score is 58.45

7:24 pm. Kocian FX- Superb double arabian to stag. For a weak event, she’s actually pretty freaking fabulous here. 1.5 to front full is good. Has SO much control on her wolf turn and in her choreo before her third pass, shows a great command of the crowd. Double tuck with a little step. Double pike with a step back. Great work.

Locklear BB 14.3 (5.6 D, 8.7 E)

7:22 pm. Locklear BB- Nails bhs loso, nice punch front to sissone, slow and clean full L turn to opposite full pirouette, side somi with a little wobble but she fights and keeps it on, side aerial to split jump to wolf jump, so far so good. Hits switch half. Love the gold in her hair ribbon, which I just saw for the first time on the jumbo screen. Double tuck with a hop back.

7:21 pm. Seven gymnasts left, and then the Olympic team will be here. #Screams #Casually

7:19 pm. Some more AA scores from today…Nichols 59.35, Hundley 58.85, Gowey 57.85, Desiderio 55.5, Schild 56.55

Smith BB 15.3 (6.2, 9.1) – her AA today is 59.05! Amazing. Fabulous work.

7:17 pm. Smith BB- I missed the first skill because my internet was slow. Nails bhs layout series though, and then standing full as well. Crowd is losing it for her again. Punch front to sissone has a great connection. Front aerial + pike jump, sheep jump is stellar, double pike with her chest down and a small hop.

Hundley FX 14.6 (5.8 D, 8.8 E)

7:14 pm. Hundley FX- Nails double layout and piked full-in, 1.5 through to double tuck with a slight bounce back is great. Double pike is excellent. Amelia, the Queen of the Olympic Trials. Everyone loves her. Lots of love from Mary Lee, who just yelled YAAAAY.

Nichols BB 14.9 (5.9 D, 9.0 E)

7:12 pm. Nichols BB- 2.5 wolf, double wolf, front aerial + sissone + split jump, a little slow before the jumps. Side somi, punch front tuck is solid, switch ring, nice bhs loso, just some knee form stuff. Double pike with a step. Great day for her. Gonna be hard to likely leave her back.

Gowey FX 13.45 (5.5 D, 7.95 E)

7:11 pm. Gowey FX- Triple full with a bounce back. Double pike with a big bounce. Front double full is super low but she doesn’t fall out of it like she did on Friday. High double tuck with a little bounce.

Schild BB 14.15 (5.7 D, 8.45 E)

7:09 pm. Schild BB- Good bhs loso, side aerial, split jump, missed connection. Slow switch to switch half. Front aerial + pike jump. Double pike is good.

Douglas FX 14.55 (5.9 D, 8.65 E) – Douglas gets a 58.9 AA today which I think she’s gotten 900 times.

7:07 pm. Douglas FX- Double arabian to stag right into the corner. Tucked full-in to back tuck with a little pause between the two. Skids around the Memmel a little at the end. I can’t really see her leaps because the bars block them a bit but they looked like they hit 180. Double pike with a hop. Double tuck with a skid and her leg up.

Desiderio BB 14.65 (6.1 D, 8.55 E)

7:05 pm. Desiderio BB- Wobbled on her first skill which I didn’t see but she got it under control. Bhs bhs layout is great. Side aerial. Switch + switch half, nice amplitude. Perfect punch front. Double pike dismount a little low.

7:03 pm. After Rotation Seven

1. Simone Biles 108.5
2. Laurie Hernandez 105.45
3. Aly Raisman 104.7
4. MyKayla Skinner 103.8
5. Gabby Douglas 102.9
6. Maggie Nichols 102.7
7. Ragan Smith 102.45
— Brenna Dowell 102.45
9. Madison Kocian 102.35
10. Amelia Hundley 102.25
11. Rachel Gowey 100.8
12. Emily Schild 97.8
13. Christina Desiderio 97.5
14. Ashton Locklear 44.65

7:02 pm. Raisman BB 15.25 (6.2 D, 9.05 E) – definitely missed the layout series which is 0.2 off in D, and guessing the other 0.1 came from the turn series which was slow

Dowell UB 14.95 (6.5, 8.45)

6:59 pm. Dowell UB- Toe full to Maloney to Tkachev is great. Hop change to straddle Jaeger, Church to pak with slight leg separation, clean van Leeuwen, full-twisting double layout nearly stuck! SHE IS SO HAPPY. Waves to the crowd and gets a double high five and a hug from Armine. SO PROUD OF HER.

6:56 pm. Raisman BB- Split leap mount, punch front pike + wolf jump, great connection. Bhs layout is solid. Switch + back tuck is also solid. Split jump + pike jump, side aerial, switch half, punch front + split jump, full L turn + full pirouette, Patterson with a tiny hop. GOLDEN.

Biles UB 14.9 (6.1 D, 8.8 E)

6:54 pm. Biles UB- Weiler half to Maloney, toe full to Tkachev, short handstand before piked Tkachv to super clean pak, Ray to high, toe-on to full-in. She’s like whatever, that was great and I’m fabulous.

Kocian BB 13.85 (5. D, 7.95 E)

6:51 pm. Kocian BB- Off on standing arabian, so the Kocian haters will definitely rage about that if she makes the team. Switch ring, bhs loso is solid, front aerial + sheep jump, double pike with a little step. She’s not thrilled. But not in tears either.

Locklear UB 15.7 (6.5 D, 9.2 E)

Hundley BB 14.4 (5.7 D, 8.7 E)

6:50 pm. Locklear UB- Inbar full to Komova II to pak to Maloney to bail to Ray, great. nbar half to huge Jaeger, stuck full-in cold. OOF, so good. Big smile and lots of cheers.

Smith UB 14.5 (6.2 D, 8.3 E)

6:48 pm. Hundley BB- Front aerial + split jump, bhs loso loso, tiny wobble. Hits jumps, punch front tuck, side aerial, full turn, and nails double pike dismount. MLT is again losing her shiz. Their hugs are my life.

6:47 pm. Smith UB- She seriously is getting the loudest applause tonight. I think if Martha leaves her off the team there will be a mild riot. Toe on to inbar half to straddle Jaeger, nice positioning and feet. Stalder to Ricna, inbar full a little off balance to pak, Ray to high, short handstand before stalder full to full-in with a little hop.

6:46 pm. Gowey BB 14.7 (6.1 D, 8.6 E)

Nichols UB 14.6 (6.0 D, 8.6 E)

6:43 pm. Nichols UB- Toe full (ankle sep) to Maloney to pak (leg sep) to van Leeuwen (clean). Toe on to toe half to straddle Jaeger (flexed feet), stuck double layout COLD.

6:41 pm. Gowey BB- Nails bhs loso loso. Switch to switch half to back pike. Hits jump series. Connection is dubious on full L turn to full pirouette. Punch front pike is solid. 2.5 basically stuck with her feet together!!

Schild UB 14.15 (6.1 D, 8.05 E)

Douglas BB 14.1 (6.3 D, 7.8 E) – seems a little high given both the fall and the dismount

6:39 pm. Schild UB- Clean first handstand before inbar full which is a little messy. Komova II to pak (legs in a V), Maloney to bail (ankle sep) to toe shoot. Inbar half (leg sep) to nice straddle Jaeger, clean double layout with a step.

6:37 pm. Douglas BB- Crowd is chanting Gabby, Gabby, Gabby. Long wait for Skinner’s score, I guess because she has some dubious connections. She inquiried all of them yesterday and got an extra 0.4 in D after the inquiries.

K, Gabby’s ready now. Punch front pike to sissone is good. Absolutely solid bhs loso, standing full with a big wobble and a fall. Oy. Crowd is behind her though. Switch to switch half a tad short if you wanna be picky. Punch front tuck to wolf jump. Lovely full L turn. Switch ring with the tiniest lil stumble. Front aerial to split jump to pike jump. Double pike a little low, chest is down and she hops to the side.

Skinner BB 14.5 (6.3 D, 8.2 E)

Desiderio UB 13.5 (5.6 D, 7.9 E)

6:36 pm. Desiderio UB- Weiler half to Maloney (leg sep), toe full (ankle sep) to Tkachev, short handstand before toe-on to bail (major leg sep and arch) to toe shoot, full-in low and the crowd gasps but she hits. They gasp again in the replay because she truly gets no height. Bill Strauss is watching the screen like wtf and Al Fong is giggling LOL.

Hernandez UB 14.75 (6.1 D, 8.65 E)

6:32 pm. Skinner BB- Punch front mount, great. Back handspring tuck full with a little wobble. Side aerial to split jump, switch to switch half to back tuck, great and her splits are SO much better if not always perfect. Full L turn to full pirouette, great connection. Split to wolf jump, great split there. Full-in a little low with a step.

6:31 pm. Hernandez UB- Looks so nervous, lots of little deep breaths. Good handstand before stalder full to Chow, great handstand into Downie, Ricna to pak with slight ankle sep, Endo half is hit, into the Ray. Did she not do a release?! Full-in with a big hop. I think she skipped her first release?!

6:30 pm. Lots of falls in the bars warm-up including from Laurie, Christina, and Emily. Laurie at least always gets it together when she competes it. She needs that “jk” fall to start.

6:28 pm. After Rotation Six

1. Simone Biles 93.6
2. Laurie Hernandez 90.7
3. Aly Raisman 89.45
4. MyKayla Skinner 89.3
5. Gabby Douglas 88.8
6. Madison Kocian 88.5
7. Maggie Nichols 88.1
8. Ragan Smith 87.95
9. Amelia Hundley 87.85
10. Brenna Dowell 87.5
11. Rachel Gowey 86.1
12. Christina Desiderio 84.0
13. Emily Schild 83.65
14. Ashton Locklear 28.95

6:27 pm. Kocian UB 15.9 (6.7 D, 9.2 E) – not even gonna argue this, this routine seriously gave me chills. I’m sitting about 10 feet away and it literally killed me.

6:25 pm. Kocian UB- Inbar full to Komova II to pak to Chow half, all very clean. Great handstand before inbar half to straddle Jaeger and her feet are POINTED. Stalder to stalder full right ontop of the bar to stuck full-in. I’M CRYING. THAT WAS BLOODY BRILLIANT.

Hundley UB 14.75 (6.0 D, 8.75 E)

6:24 pm. Biles VT 16.2 (6.3 D, 9.9 E) – crowd goes wild at this. IT WOULD HAVE BEEN A 10 IF SHE STUCK. #CRYING

6:23 pm. Biles VT- Amanar, super clean and with a tiny little hop forward. Just give her the 10, I literally don’t even care that she hopped. It was like the smallest hop ever.

6:22 pm. Hundley UB- Hop change to Weiler half (very clean) to Maloney. Ricna to pak is great, super clean van Leeuwen, toe on to giant full on the bar, stuck full-in. CRYING. MLT literally can’t contain herself and everyone is hugging her and losing it.

Smith VT 14.55 (5.8 D, 8.75 E)

Gowey UB 14.8 (6.3 D, 8.5 E)

6:21 pm. Smith VT- DTY, crowd LOVES her. Really high onto the table on her block and it looks like it could maybe be a little scary? But she covers well and lands it a little to the side with a tiny slide. Just slight leg sep when she leaves the table.

Nichols VT 15.1 (5.8 D, 9.3 E)

6:20 pm. Gowey UB- Hop change to Weiler half to toe full (ankle sep), short handstand before Maloney to giant full, Ricna to pak (leg sep), short handstand before van Leeuwen (ankle sep), double layout stuck cold!

6:19 pm. Nichols VT- DTY, stuck!!!! One of her best. Ever. Form-wise, it’s perfect up until the final twist, where her knee bends in anticipation of the landing.

6:16 pm. Douglas UB 15.25 (6.4 D, 8.85 E)

Schild VT 14.7 (5.8 D, 8.9 E)

6:15 pm. Schild VT- DTY, a little short with a hop forward.

6:13 pm. Douglas UB- Piked Tkachev to pak, great height on the Tkachev, inbar half to Endo half to stalder to clean Chow half, inbar and then a double layout stuck!!!!! THAT’S how you show them.

Skinner UB 14.4 (6.1 D, 8.3 E)

Desiderio VT 12.95 (5.3 D, 7.75 E, -0.1 penalty) – they only credited her for a 1.5 because it was THAT far over.

6:12 pm. Desidero VT- DTY, crashes it to the side. 😦

Hernandez VT 15.15 (5.8 D, 9.35 E) – okay but the judges did NOT listen to me about this one, lol.

6:11 pm. Hernandez VT- DTY, super close to the table and she twists early, but her landing was one of her better ones.

Raisman UB 14.3 (6.0 D, 8.3 E)

Skinner UB- Weiler half to Maloney to pak with leg sep. van Leeuwen with some leg form stuff, toe full is right on the bar to HUGE tkachev, Ray, great and high, STICKS FULL-IN. I’VE NEVER SEEN HER LOOK SO HAPPY!!!!!!!!!! Raises her arms to the crowd like YAS.

6:10 pm. Raisman UB- Toe full (ankle sep) to Maloney to Tkachev, hop change to straddle Jaeger, toe-on to bail great form to full, Ray to high, toe half to double front with a tiny bounce. ALYYYYYY.

Dowell VT 15.1 (5.8 D, 9.3 E) – AGAIN the judges are TOTALLY listening to me and my rants. THIS is the score she deserves.

6:09 pm. Dowell VT- DTY, deep landing in the knees but STUCK. Right in the center and great form in the air.

6:02 pm. After Rotation Five

1. Simone Biles 77.4
2. Laurie Hernandez 75.55
3. Aly Raisman 75.15
4. MyKayla Skinner 74.9
5. Gabby Douglas 73.55
6. Ragan Smith 73.4
7. Amelia Hundley 73.1
8. Maggie Nichols 73.0
9. Madison Kocian 72.6
10. Brenna Dowell 72.4
11. Rachel Gowey 71.3
12. Christina Desiderio 71.05
13. Emily Schild 68.95
14. Ashton Locklear 28.95

Smith FX 14.7 (6.2 D, 8.5 E)

6:00 pm. Smith FX- Crowd clapping along to her music KILLS ME AND MAKES ME CRY. That’s exactly what they wanted. Nice double layout, small adjustment back on the landing. 1.5 through to triple is GREAT, just a small bounce. Double arabian to stag is A+. Legs just a little apart on the arabian. Double pike with her chest down on the landing but that aside it’s good. Crowd goes wild at the end. I have some tears.

Nichols FX 14.75 (6.2 D, 8.55 E)

Hundley VT 15.1 (5.8 D, 9.3 E) – YEAH THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT. The judges probably heard me ranting about this from outer space.

5:59 pm. Hundley VT- DTY, nice pop off the table, mostly great form, tiny bounce back, right down the middle. She is fabulous.

5:57 pm. Nichols FX- Double double, a little low on the landing and she has to take a step back to steady it. Tucked full-in is a little deep in the landing and the leg form in the air is the same as always but her leaps are fab. Piked full-in stuck! Double tuck stuck! Feet apart on both but those last two passes were great. So impressed with how well she’s come back from her surgery.

Gowey VT 14.9 (5.8 D, 9.1 E)

Schild FX 13.55 (5.6 D, 8.05 E, -0.1 penalty)

5:56 pm. Gowey VT- DTY, not bad. Huge bounce back though…very nice in the air and she looked like she got a bit of a better block than usual.

5:54 pm. Schild FX- Really nice high full-in. Double arabian with a little stumble forward. 1.5 to 2.5 with a big stumble forward on the latter, and she goes out-of-bounds. Double tuck with two steps back.

Douglas VT 15.0 (5.8 D, 9.2 E)

5:53 pm. Douglas VT- Really early onto the table on her DTY, but the landing is her best basically all summer. Twists a little early but her form looked fabulous to me.

5:52 pm. Desiderio FX 14.4 (6.0 D, 8.4 E)

5:49 pm. Desiderio FX- Hit opening pass, 1.5 through to double tuck with a hop, STICKS double layout!!! YAS. Double pike, chest a little low and she bounces in place but that was a fabulous routine.

Hernandez FX 14.7 (6.1 D, 8.7 E, -0.1 penalty)

5:45 pm. Hernandez FX- Double layout with a little bounce back. Double arabian to stag, good. Front layout to front double full to punch front tuck looks like she stumbles a little, maybe out-of-bounds. Double tuck with a hop. Like Biles, I’d love to see her focus on her landings a bit more leading up to the Games.

Dowell FX 14.5 (6.1 D, 8.5 E, -0.1 penalty)

Skinner VT 15.45 (6.5 D, 9.05 E)

5:44 pm. Skinner VT- First vault is the Cheng, which comes early onto the table and the crowd gasps. They also gasp in the replays. But she hits it well, landing looked basically stuck. I don’t think she’s doing a second vault tonight!?!?!

5:42 pm. Dowell FX- Front layout into the double front which is STUCK!!!!! Holds the stick for like a tenth of a second before going into the stag to be like “yep I did that.” Dowell is really far forward and it looks like she’s gonna keep it in but I see the flag go up at the last second. 1.5 to front full, and then final pass is a 2.5 to punch front pike, both great.

Biles FX 15.55 (6.8 D, 8.85 E, -0.1 penalty which I didn’t see)

Raisman VT 15.2 (6.3 D, 9.0 E, -0.1 penalty)

5:41 pm. Raisman VT- Amanar, same as usual, a little off to the side with a step forward and OOB. Knees are as rough as always.

5:40 pm. Kocian VT 14.0 (5.0 D, 9.0 E)

5:38 pm. Biles FX- I can’t believe this is the last time I’ll see this in person. Full twisting double layout with a bounce back. Nice amplitude on her jump series before the Biles, which she hits with a big step forward. I really want her to just kill the landings someday. It would take her from amazing to unbelievably ridiculously amazing. Double double with a deep knee bend but her feet don’t move. Excellent leap before her final pass, which is the tucked full-in, tiny little bounce. Killer.

5:37 pm. Kocian VT- Big clean FTY with a little bounce back.

5:33 pm. Nice big doubles from Aly on vault!

5:31 pm. Here we goooooo!!! Warm-ups are starting. Madison, Aly, MyKayla, Gabby, Rachel, and Amelia start on vault, while Simone, Brenna, Laurie, Christina, Emily, Maggie, and Ragan start on floor.

5:25 pm. Gymnasts are marching out!

5:14 pm. Lights are going off! Just got clarification about naming of the alternates. They will NOT be named live with the team tonight. After the team is named and celebrated, Martha and co will deliberate about the alternates and they will be named shortly after. The team has basically been in place for months now, but the alternate decision will be based more on what happens this weekend so it’s going to take a little time for them to say who the three best who most fit the team are.

4:56 pm. Training is winding down. Aly just did a good Amanar (stepped over the line) while Gabby and Amelia did solid DTYs. Mary Lee clapped for Amelia’s.

4:46 pm. Everything going well so far. It’s pretty busy up here in the media zone but they’re on the final training rotation so we’re GETTING CLOSE!

4:27 pm. Sorry, slow ish internet. Groups are on beam and floor now. The second-to-last warmup rotation. Aly just did her first pass with literally six feet to spare going into the corner. She barely looked like she used any energy on that. BLESS.

4:19 pm. Okay, back. Laurie’s just finishing up bars. Catches Tkachev, Downie, and Ricna to pak all very well.

4:13 pm. I’ll be back in like five minutes. They’re about to change rotations so I’m gonna run off for a second!

4:12 pm. Warm-ups happening now! Everyone’s in red except for three I think in purple and pink. Laurie just fell on a release but she ALWAYS does this in warm-ups and then nails it during the meet.

Article by Lauren Hopkins

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218 thoughts on “The 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials Day Two Live Blog

  1. Gabby did not deserve this over Skinner. Why even have trials if they were going to pick Gabby no matter how many times she messes up? USA gymnastics is a joke. Corrupt judging and selection committee.

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  2. That was a lot of angst over the obvious. I can’t believe MAggie isn’t a replacement athlete. I thought she would definitely be going to Rio in some capacity. I guess Ragan just beat her out for the last replacement spot.

    We are sending the strongest team in the world by 5 points. We can win every gold and probably most of the silvers.

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    • My guess is that Maggie’s injury added with her fall on day one doomed her. The battle at trials was always for the alts and Mags lost that battle.

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      • Not so. The alternates were perfectly planned: one all arounder (Ragen), one bars/beam specialist (Locklear) and one vault/floor specialist (Skinner). Nichols was in contention for that vault/floor combo but skinner was simply too good at trials and Nichols not good enough. If trials were in two weeks Nichols might’ve even made the main team, but I guess that’s how it goes.

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      • It’s a nice coincidence that the alts are complementary perfectly covering all 4 events also. Ragan (beam), Skinner (vt and fx), ashton (ub). as well as being the upper AA’s.

        It sucks for Nichols. I am still disappointed on how unsatisfying it was. But at least the the alt did do one heck of a job fighting it on…

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  3. https://gymnasticscoaching.com/

    I hope that gabby will take this 2nd chance and not waste it. But what is the chance at all if gabby doesn’t improve? Any chance that mykayla can slip in like Rick said? not hating gabby but if she was given a 2nd chance and still can’t get it do they have anything to back it up?

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  4. Honestly, I would have been so much more behind Gabby’s inclusion if it hadn’t been completely guaranteed throughout this entire process. I do think she does still make sense as a team member (even though I’ve been firmly team Maggie/Mykayla), but it really is a slap in the face to the other gymnasts that she can be lackluster all season and they can pull out their best stuff and still not get a legitimate consideration.

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    • I agree and also think it’s rediculous that Maddie Kocian can go the entire season without beating Ashton once and then come in and get THE MOST OVERSCORED ROUTINE IV’E EVERRRR SEEN on ub, beat Ashton once, yet Ashton still have the higher average score, and Kocian makes the team. Not to mention that Locklear fell on bb 1/6 times and kocian 2/5. I am EXTREMLYYYYY furious.

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      • I like locklear too. But she unfortunately got too much stacked against her. Even the perfect 4/4 won’t help her unless Maddie headcase her ub. This and also Maddie ‘ higher D score. But I am glad she is sticking around for next quad… She just need to have a few minor upgrades and keep that pristine form and she would be untouchable on this in US and probably have a good chance of medal at 2017 worlds

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      • Mary:
        I completely agree, and I think a team with Mykayla makes SO much sense along with maggie in 2015 form. It really is showing us that politics matters more in gymnastics than your current performance. The annoying part is, if she wasn’t Gabby Douglas, and another hopefull, she wouldn’t even be considered. I guess sponsors and money matter more to USAG than actual performance and ability to help the routine.

        Joseph:
        One, Ashton only beat her at two instances and it was by 0.05 on one, and for an unusually weak performance by madison. Ashton did have the higher average, but Kocian killer her bar routine. I was surprised that Ashton had a lower score than she did on Day 2, and I think they should’ve been about even with Kocian maybe 0.1 ahead. I don’t have a problem with a tad bit of overscoring as long as the overall ranking is right. If Ashton trained beam and floor she should’ve been on the team instead of Gabby. Honestly, I don’t know why they took Gabby at all because she’s only going to contribute on bars in TF and Ashton would then be a much better option. Her all around is worse than Simone, Aly, and Laurie’s. In my opinion, they should’ve either brought both or Mykayla instead of Gabby because she adds more tenths to the team score. Also the fact that Madison does to the all around helps Martha’s case of alternatophobia. It’s heartbreaking that we would have to see one of these girls left at home when they both have so much medal potential. The depth in the USA is heartbreaking and yet amazing.

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  5. Marta’s decision to put Gabby on the team is a slap in the face to Mykayla but also to so many other gymnasts who tried to make the team in this and in years past… Nastia included! Nastia fell twice during trials and knew she didn’t make the team, but Gabby falls twice and her “stock goes way up” according to the stupid NBC commentary.

    also, ridiculous to “congratulate” all other competitors on making it to the trials but say that they’re not in the broadcast! …they should have been in the broadcast and the commentators SHOULD HAVE PRONOUNCED THEIR NAMES CORRECTLY!

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  6. I honesty thought skinner did enough to get the spot over gabby politics played the game if it was anyone else including aly who had two falls probably wouldn’t even make an alternate

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  7. What’s the point of even having Olympic Trials when the team is already picked? When the favorites are over scored? Politics, greed and ugliness at its best. Go ahead. Let NBC pick the team. Totally unfair. #firepenny

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  8. i don’t think my other post went through… Marta’s decision to go with Gabby was a slap in the face to many other gymnasts who tried, this year and previous years, to make the team. It was a slap in the face to Mykayla and even to Nastia who fell twice at the 2012 trials and knew that she wouldn’t make the team. For the commentators to say Gabby’s “stock went way up” after falling twice was ridiculous! Gabby will not contribute to the medal count at all and she’s inconsistent and lost her love for the sport. When her mother said that she’d been in the best spirits after night 1, i yelled “yes, because she doesn’t actually want to make the team”.

    I also was disgusted with NBC’s broadcast tonight. To briefly congratulate each of the remaining 13 girls in passing (while butchering their names and admitting that they were never intended to be a part of the broadcast) is NOT what the fans were looking for when they got onto NBC about ignoring the other girls. They needed to spend less time watching girls drink water or interviewing parents and more time on ALL of the girls! those girls worked hard too and deserved for their routines to be shown, particularly when NBC claims all rights to the trials and no one else can post the routines.

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  9. Marta’s decision to go with Gabby was a slap in the face to many other gymnasts who tried, this year and previous years, to make the team. It was a slap in the face to Mykayla and even to Nastia who fell twice at the 2012 trials and knew that she wouldn’t make the team. For the commentators to say Gabby’s “stock went way up” after falling twice was ridiculous! Gabby will not contribute to the medal count at all and she’s inconsistent and lost her love for the sport. When her mother said that she’d been in the best spirits after night 1, i yelled “yes, because she doesn’t actually want to make the team”.

    I also was disgusted with NBC’s broadcast tonight. To briefly congratulate each of the remaining 13 girls in passing (while butchering their names and admitting that they were never intended to be a part of the broadcast) is NOT what the fans were looking for when they got onto NBC about ignoring the other girls. They needed to spend less time watching girls drink water or interviewing parents and more time on ALL of the girls! those girls worked hard too and deserved for their routines to be shown, particularly when NBC claims all rights to the trials and no one else can post the routines.

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    • THIS!!!! I was very upset with the broadcast choices, the rudeness of the commentators, the level of disregard for “non-contenders”. Tim Daggett claims he spends hours researching things for broadcast – can he not research name pronunciation??? It was disgusting! I don’t even care if Gabby can somehow get her shit together and win an AA medal in Rio. She doesn’t deserve the chance over Simone, Aly, or Laurie.

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      • it was just too much emptying bag gymnast drinking water while meals who hit not even 1 routine. shown. I tired of Gabby D hype. I’m glad in some sense this hype is not around simone it will help her to stay focus. simone will get her shining spotlight after rio. I’m not even bothering with Gabby politics after qualifications the next time we see Gabby is TF bars that’s the end of her Olympics journey.

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  10. Confrats Gabby! Ur a great AA gymnast, n Im sorry you’ve been dragged ur entire career pre/post winning the damn AA gold at the Olys! I completely understand why ur on this team. Meanwhile (soo many others are just fist bumping and keyboard thugging for their favs). Congrats Gabby!

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    • +Anon1 She is a great AA gymnast that any country would be lucky to have… but she currently isn’t Top 3 in the USA. Her accomplishments (2012 Oly AA and TF, 2015 Worlds and 2016 American Cup) are all amazing, and I personally LOVE the amount of diversity on the 2016 team. However, in gymnastics you can only bank so much on what you have done in the past; what you are doing NOW is what matters. Simone is untouchable, and Aly + Laurie are peaking, and have objectively better AA scores than Gabby. Gabby should absolutely be competing UB in the team final, but she should not be competing the AA in qualifications.

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  11. I’m also (in a place where ppl entertain Donald Trump as our potential president) gonna acknowledge how we, for the first time ever, have 2 blk girls, a Puerto Rican, and 2 white girls on the team!

    Im not one to just let this ‘sneak by’. Im all in for the diversity we’ve come to see over the years.

    Dawes and Durham (and others) rly did great at forcing ppl to get onto the diversity bandwagon, n now we have Laurie, repping as a PR woman! Awesome!

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  12. I have watched gymnastics for more than 50 years and consider myself fairly knowledgeable This is the most scripted trials I have ever watched why bother with the torturous process Skinner was amazing and she may as well as be vapor Douglas routines were only comparable to NCAA routines. She is so far from Olympic ready it’s laughable. Ally hardly wanted to speak to her Olympics used to be for amateur athletes not princesses who make millions then think 18 months of work can replace a lifetime maybe Mykayla a d Ashton can get a reality show on how to be gracious while getting screwed out of your lifetime dream Two wasted days of a total fu–zing joke I Almost hope for silver

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  13. I have watched gymnastics for more than 50 years and consider myself fairly knowledgeable This is the most scripted trials I have ever watched why bother with the torturous process Skinner was amazing and she may as well as be vapor Douglas routines were only comparable to NCAA routines. She is so far from Olympic ready it’s laughable. Ally hardly wanted to speak to her Olympics used to be for amateur athletes not princesses who make millions then think 18 months of work can replace a lifetime maybe Mykayla a d Ashton can get a reality show on how to be gracious while getting screwed out of your lifetime dream Two wasted days of a total fu–zing joke I Almost hope for silver

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  14. I’m iffy about this team too, but these comments about Gabby’s feelings (“she’s lost her passion for the sport” etc) are ridiculous; no one is required to feel anything (or to exhibit whatever they feel in a way that makes sense to you) in order to seek athletic success. And love and passion for gymnastics certainly don’t guarantee success! People really need to think this one through instead of mindlessly repeating this trope about Gabby’s affect. If you think the numbers don’t support her selection, that that’s one thing (and I kinda agree), but this endless speculation about her feelings and thoughts is just silly.

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    • Thank you! She’s a lock because she’s a solid AA, n she’s the reigning gold/silver AA/ n there are already endorsements/biz happening.

      Amanda Borden missed in 92. She got over it n got better!

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    • Gymnastics is a mental sport, so I actually think each member of the team can effect the others mentally. Positively or negatively. Aly is clearly positive as a team leader. I believe her presence contributes towards others’ performances. I believe Gabby is somewhere between neutral and negative.

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    • It’s not speculation. Gabby said herself that she had “lost her passion” after night one. If losing her passion has something to do with her poor performance and seventh place finish, it is absolutely relevant to the fans. It would also affect her training going forward to Rio.

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      • The fact that someone can “lose their passion” at this stage of the game is a sure sign that they should NOT be a member of the team. In fact, it’s infuriating given how many girls were giving their blood, sweat and tears to earn a spot. Give it to someone who is going to fight tooth and nail every step of the way. Not someone who is going to half-a— or “mail in” their performances based on their past accomplishments.

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    • Whats wrong w u? U now want the US to lose because ur other pick dudnt make the team? Ur the kind of person who’s address I wish I knew, becus u deserve several punches in the face. Ur a keyboard thug. U want women to lose a gold because ur mad 1 is on the team?! Grow up!

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      • i hope gabby falls too ’cause her gymnastics is unpleasent to watch (FOR ME, i just hate her attitude and her absoluteley lack of charisma and choreography) and because i think she’s taking the spot of girls with better gymnastics at the moment (skinner, maggie, locklear, smith), even if i agree she’s the one who fits the team better right now just because of bars. but remember she’s not consistent nor even with bars right nows, as she’s missing connections all the time.

        i also think she’s one of the most anticlimatic and undeserving AA champs of all times and I absolutely DO NOT wanna see her making history ’cause i think she’s not the one who deserves to make history (biles herself deserves a lot more).

        also i don’t think it’s RUDE to want someone to fell, it would be really rude to root for an injury tho.

        i’m not american and and i would LOVE do see china take team gold based on US falls (but i know is virtually impossible) and i don’t think i deserve a PUNCH IN THE FACE for that. china gold would be GREAT for the sport in general. usa domination is turning the sport into something absolutely predictable and that’s not healthy for the sport, for the fans, for the FIG and for any other program in the world.

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      • @Andre – I have to address your comment re: american domination. In the history of the sport, US recent domination PALES in comparison the Soviet and Romanian dynasties of the past. Between 1952 and 1988 the Soviet Union won every team Gold at the Olympics (except ’84 when they boycotted) and also won 16 All Around medals (including a podium sweep in 1960). Between 1980-2000, Romania won 11 Olympic All Around medals (including a sweep in 2000 – I still think Raducan deserved that Gold). Since 1988, the US has won 2 team golds in the Olympics and 5 All Around medals. I know there has been a lot of US domination at Worlds recently, but its nothing that other countries haven’t experienced at some point in history. US domination may be boring to some, but it’s not unprecedented in the sport and shouldn’t be viewed negatively. Some of the best legends of this sport came out of those Soviet and Romanian dynasties, and the US should be given the same respect for their strength. It’s only a relatively recent phenomenon that the US has been dominant – they deserve their time to shine. It’s not boring or bad for the sport – just like the Soviet domination was not boring. The change to a 3 up, 3 count structure and the change from 3 AAers per country to 2 AAers per country came at a time when the US was just starting to show its dominance. If the old rules applied, the US would be even more dominant.

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    • Please don’t wish that! I mean it’s unlikely that they will lose the gold even that happen. And I am upset about the whole things too.

      Part of me wants to believe what marta is hoping for but I have my doubt that it will happen. In 2012 gabby peaked at trial. This time she became worse in the ranking following a bad PG. Skinner actually peaked correctly.

      I can kinda see why she is picked because she does bars and fit into that piece of the puzzle. But I am still EXTREMELY disappointed notherless about her progress. Skinner does deserve the place but I think they don’t want any weakness on any events….

      I can only hope that gabby will take this 2nd chance and run away with it. If she doesn’t I hope marta will have in her the will and power to not let her do ub bars in qual so aly and laurie can both do AA.

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      • My thoughts exactly!!!! I want Simone, Aly and Laurie to do AA. I hope that Martha gives them that shot and leave Gabby out of AA…

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      • McKayla’s vault adds more value to the team than Gabby’s bars. Simone is perfectly capable of doing bars in a team final. McKayla was the correct decision to make. Ashton’s bars also add more value than Gabby’s bars, but I can at least understand not wanting to take someone who can’t do all around.

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  15. After thinking things over for about two hours, I think this team makes the most sense. Gabby’s potential is too much to leave at home. She’s shown she can hit her beam routine at Nats. She didn’t hit it at trials, but she fell on two different elements. We know she can hit all of her elements but she needs the reps to become more consistent. Marta loves “fixing” Gabby. Remember how she put Gabby on the 2011 World team after Gabby had a meltdown on beam at Nats? Marta knows how to get Gabby ready for the big stage. And Marta deserves to do it her way in her last hurrah.

    Gabby is different from Nastia in 2012. Through two days of Nats and two days of trials, we never saw Nastia hit a single bar routine. Not one. We know Gabby can hit her beam routine.

    I think the nastiness towards Gabby is ridiculous. She is a great gymnast. The USA is lucky to have her. I think her mother…well she’s never seen a camera she doesn’t love. Oh well. She’s not the first stage mother who loves the spotlight.

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    • The issue has nothing to do with Gabby. It has to do with the fact that the system is a sham. There’s literally no point to holding Olympic trials because the team was chosen months ago, and there was literally nothing that could have happened to change it. Knowing how hard all of the girls (including Gabby) work to achieve their dream, knowing the sacrifices their families make for them to achieve their dream, it is sickening to know they never had a shot in the first place.

      I was pleasantly thrilled by the men’s selection process, because the committee took all emotion, conjecture, and past history out of the process and went strictly by the numbers, which is how all decisions should be made. People lie. Numbers don’t. Ryan Lochte is the defending champion in the 400 IM and won’t be competing in the Olympics because he didn’t perform on the day he needed to. That’s fair. The fact that Gabby can continually screw up her bar routine, miss a million connections, score about a tenth above Simone on average, and STILL be going to Rio “for her bars” proves the system is a sham.

      I have defended Gabby for pretty much the whole process until Trials. Until Trials, she was the correct choice, albeit narrowly. However, at Trials, she showed she was getting worse not better. She shattered the idea that she’s mentally tough. She failed to bring the upgrades I thought she would bring. And she got out worked by plenty of other girls. In a fair system, Gabby would not be going to Rio. I like Gabby. I picked her to win over Jordyn well before 2012 started because I thought she was the better gymnast, and she was. I rooted for her 100% in her comeback. But the system did not work. It’s not just, and it’s the same story that is going on more broadly in the country, where the rich and powerful are coddled and protected and the little guy gets screwed, no matter how hard s/he works.

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      • Exactly what I wanted to say, all of it. I understand that there’s a difference between making a gymnastics team and sending athletes to compete in sports like swimming and track – BUT in those sports, if you underperform at the Olympic Trials and get passed up by enough other athletes you don’t go. Period. No matter how big your reputation is, or how much of favorite you were to win the event in Rio, or if you were the defending champion – don’t get the job done when it’s supposed to matter, someone else takes the spot. There have been several examples of that happening in the trials for those sports this week. It’s irritating to hear Marta talk about how she’s disappointed with how Gabby did and how she’ll get Gabby into shape now – sorry, but if Gabby didn’t show up in the shape she should be in this close to the Olympics, that’s gotta be on her and her coaches. Apparently it was never going to matter as long as she didn’t fall on every event.

        I’m not surprised but I think I’ll be disappointed about this for a while. I wish Team USA the best of luck, Gabby included, and I hope everyone stays healthy.

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  16. Can we just focus on the video that Aly and Maggie Haney posted on IG of Simone, Aly, and Laurie dancing it out after the team was announced. It was PARTY RAISMAN all the way! I’m dying. Love seeing the girls like that 🙂

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    • I am sad for Maggie. She had too many things stacked against her. Even if she didn’t fall on beam, her 2 strong events are covered by mykayla (as well as mykayla killing and ragan upped her game pretty much closed the door on her).

      Even with top shape, her fate is just like mykayla due to them both being stronger on vt and fx. I do know she is stronger than mykayla in ub. The problem is they probably would have taken gabby over her anyway even if she was 4th in AA, just like what happened with mykayla.

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      • If Maggie hadn’t gotten injured and was in 2015 form, she would have made the team. The question would be who would go between Madison and Gabby, and I think they would take Madison. Ultimately, the more I think about it, the more I realize it was just too little too late for McKayla. Martha also apparently said it came down to Ashton vs. Gabby (see Nancy Armour’s article). McKayla had a bad P&G’s and, really, her trial performances came somewhat out of nowhere. With Maggie, her performances wouldn’t have come out of nowhere, and she would have been the third Amanar, plus the third 15+ score on the floor.

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  17. Lauren, I am not anti Gabby, but just want your opinion on:

    1. What is the chance that gabby will peak as an AA for rio given that she is coming off a not so good performance at PG into a worse ranking Trials? This was not the same pattern in 2012. What is any chance that she can beat both aly and laurie, given that she has not show amanar or any of the bars upgrades? B/c I really don’t see how she can beat them given her consistently middling beam and fx even with 4/4 hit routines… Do you really believe that there’s any chance that there will at least be a workable amanar?

    2. If she can’t conclusively beat laurie and aly, do you see her getting another gift to the AA? I mean it is so easy because of her hold on the ub. I have a feeling that there is a temptation not to take her off ub in qual so that both aly and laurie can do AA even if she can’t conclusively beat them in the AA. just bc she is 2nd best bars on the team (but without any real chance of medaling in ef).

    My prediction (unfortunately) : No amanar or any upgrade on ub. Still get to do ub in qual as well as AA. Then get 2 per country outed. I just don’t believe that she can beat aly and laurie without an amanar or some sort of miracle bars upgrade. It was very clear that even without the bb falls, she still couldn’t beat them… If this is the case, this is one time I am glad to have a 2 per country rule to at least keep a check on the political madness.

    I am not anti gabby. I still have the the 2012 AA video on my computer of her historic performance. But at the same time, I completely believe in the best should advance! She was the best in 2012. But if she can’t prove that now, she should not be gifted again!

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  18. Anybody realistically think that Gabby is only going to compete UB in TF (i.e. NOT compete during quals so Simone, Aly and Laurie compete AA)? I mean, let’s be realistic, Aly could do UB in Qual and TF, fall on both and the USA is still going to win team gold. Yes, the decision reeks of politics – but if the TF score is the one Martha is targeting, there isn’t much justification for Gabby competing UB in Quals. For example, if you argue that the 3rd AA spot is between Gabby and Laurie, what is the UB score difference… maybe .5? Peanuts in the realm of quals. Even with Gabby vs Aly, Aly’s lower bar score is vastly compensated by her higher difficulty and execution on every other event.

    There is literally no (fair and in the Olympic spirit) reason to not have Simone, Aly and Laurie as your AA gymnasts. Putting aside the AA conversation and focusing just on Gabby and UB… do her AVERAGE (I never assume someone’s ultimate best score is what they’ll do at the Olympics) scores on UB even qualify her to UB EF? There’ll be two Chinese gymnasts, likely two Russians, at least one German, Madison from USA, likely one Japanese gymnast. I don’t even know where Gabby fits in the event, and even if she did qualify, it’d clearly be in one of the bottom 3 spots and is not medal contending. Perhaps Lauren, who knows more international scores than I do, will clarify a bit for us.

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    • Yeah, I asked lauren just right before you. Sadly, though, I think things will happen like I predicted above: she will be given another freebie to do ub in qual as well as AA. and then she will get 2 per country outed. There is really no way she can beat laurie and aly without an amanar or a big bar upgrade. Without the two beam falls they would still beat her by a sizeable margin.due to her consistently middling bb and fx which I just don’t see can touch laurie and aly even close. I am saying this not because I am anti gabby, but it’s the numerical truth. I just don’t see how she can beat them without any upgrades.

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  19. I’m SO devastated for Mykalya Skinner! She had the meet of her life… A once in a career performance. She has some of the most difficult vaulting and tumbling in the world (that Moors on floor tho!) and she showed consistency both nights in San Jose. She really peaked at exactly the right time, and had a great attitude to boot.

    It’s ridiculous that a fourth place finisher who goes 8-for-8 at the Olympic Trials is relegated to being an alternate. These kinds of political decisions make me hate my love for a sport that chooses athletes based on popularity over performance. Best of luck to Mykalya in her collegiate career with Utah. She should be proud of herself for her Trials performance.

    Also- NBC continues to suck with their coverage. I like Nastia Liukin as a person and as a gymnast…. I think she’s lovely and I’m happy for all her success outside the gym….But her broadcasting skills are questionable. She voice is flat and her commentary is not nearly as technical as it should be. Listening to her made me legit sleepy. Also, can we just get rid of Al Trautwig already?

    My final thought- there’s NO reason that NBC couldn’t have aired at least one routine from every athlete. There are only 14 competitors, and two nights of competition. I would’ve loved to have seen Brenna, Rachel and Amelia instead of awkward interviews with Gabby’s mom or 90 second shots of Gabby drinking water. All of the girls there are some of the best gymnasts in the world and they earned their right to some air time!

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    • It’s a huge injustice either way. The message Marta sent to little girls across the nation is, “don’t chase your dreams. This is not a meritocracy. No matter how hard you work, without the right connections, money, fame, and power, you don’t have a chance to beat out those who have those things.” This message will be further confirmed when Laurie gets screwed out of the all around just like Maggie did at worlds.

      If Martha really thinks they needed the bars score, she is bad at math. Nancy Armour must be bad at math as well. Again, the women should have adopted the men’s selection process. There should be no wiggle room. The rules should be that they select the team that maximizes the score in the 3 up 3 count format. Period.

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      • Gabby is not like other gymnasts. We all know if she were anyone else she would not be on the team. But she is objectively someone who will be the world’s second or third best AAer in Rio. She’s not ready now, but she will be.

        I think the reigning Oly AAer and World silver medalist deserves a smidgen of respect. She didn’t splat yet way through trials. She wasn’t Vanessa Atler out there.

        Her talent and potential make her different. She’s like Aliya in that respect. The same rules don’t apply. Sometimes life is like that.

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      • @ Grace – if it were all about respecting past accomplishments, then why have Trials at all? Of course what Gabby did in 2012 was incredible, but, objectively, not only will she not be a Top 3 all-arounder in Rio, she’s not even currently a Top 3 all-arounder in the USA. As far as following her previous habit of ‘peaking late’, she is already way beyond the 2012 timeframe. She should not be competing UB in qualifications, and should not be the 3rd all arounder for the USA.

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      • Totally agree with @Firebird. I have a lot of respect for Gabby – anyone who can win an AA gold medal in what was a stacked field in 2012 deserves our respect. And coming back looking the way she did is amazing. But, if Marta’s mantra (as everyone was reminding us throughout the coverage) was “What can you do for me now” then Gabby should not have been the shoo in that she was. Gabby’s additional tenths on a hit bar routing do not make or break Team USA. Mykyla adding a half a point and another potential individual medal are much more compelling in my opinion. I agree with @Matthew that I respect the men’s team used the numbers and nothing else – but they are legitimately fighting for a spot on the podium where tenths matter BIG time. Barring injury, the women’s team competition will be a blowout in USA’s favor. Taking Gabby for her couple of extra tenths on UB is an injustice. If she is allowed to do the AA in Quals, it’s another injustice. She was not even top 5 in the US. Whichever two American women go up in AA finals, there is a realistic shot at 2 medals. Just like ’15 Worlds. If it had Maggie who had been allowed to do AA in quals, she would have been on the podium with Simone. Gabby doing AA in Rio – if she hits she gets a medal. But the same is absolutely true of Laurie and Aly (and after 2012 tie breaker, my sentimental heart wants Aly to get another shot!)

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      • @ Grace that is literally like saying the boss’s son should get the job even though he screwed up the interview over the hard working, unconnected candidate who won the interview, simply because he went to Harvard…Whether she is ready or not is irrelevant. What’s relevant is justice and fairness.

        Also, how was she not Vanessa Alter? Vanessa Alter finished 6th in the AA on a team that took 6 people. Gabby finished 7th on a team that takes 5 people. Vanessa had two falls. Gabby had two falls. Both screwed up royally on their main events without falling. Gabby was arguably worse than Vanessa Alter and Martha is just taking her because of some ridiculous faith that she will improve at the ranch. It’s not fair. Gabby didn’t earn her spot, plain and simple. She got in because of money and connections.

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      • @Grace – if anyone is “not like other gymnasts” and deserving of the “rules not applying”… it’s Simone. Simone is the ONLY gymnast who participated at Trials who should’ve been guaranteed a spot even without performing. HER record speaks for itself. Objectively considering math and the strength of the team recognizes that MyKayla should be on the team. Her vault alone adds more points to a team qual score than Gabby’s bars (and Aly could be the 4th bar worker and thus get to compete AA). MyKayla could qual every event but UB, make the vault EF (and likely medal) and her score would be dropped from BB and FX (which is what will happen to Gabby’s scores anyway. Simone, Laurie and Madison put up more than enough UB for a team final, and the extra points having Skinner vault in the TF go over compensating for any drop in UB score. Skinner on the team would result in more USA medals (the team isn’t even a question at this point).

        With Skinner:
        VT-Q: Raisman, Skinner, Biles, Hernandez (drop)
        UB-Q: Biles, Hernandez, Kocian, Raisman (drop)
        BB-Q: Biles, Hernandez, Raisman, either Kocian or Skinner (doesn’t matter, drop – I’d put Skinner up as she’s way more ‘durable’ than Kocian)
        FX-Q: Biles, Raisman, Hernandez, Skinner (drop)

        Team Gold, AA Gold and likely Silver, VT Gold + 1, UB 1, BB Gold + 1, FX Gold and Silver = 10

        With Douglas:
        VT-Q: Biles, Raisman, Douglas, Hernandez (drop either Douglas or Hernandez – we’re talking a tenth or two between them)
        UB-Q: Biles, Kocian, Douglas-Raisman-Hernandez (this is the problem; if Douglas competes, Raisman or Hernandez is out of the AA which would be ludicrously unfair, OR Douglas sits UB qual as she won’t medal in EF anyway and Raisman is the score drop… meaning we are literally bringing Douglas to do one thing-TF)
        BB-Q: Biles, Raisman, Hernandez, Douglas (drop)
        FX: Biles, Raisman, Hernandez, Douglas (drop)

        Team Gold, AA Gold and likely Silver, VT Gold, UB 1, BB 2, FX, 2 = 9

        If Martha’s following her own mantra (what have you done for me lately) and being fair to the girls who’ve timed their peak accordingly (i.e. Raisman and Hernandez), she’ll sit Douglas out of UB during quals. That scenario allows her to give Raisman and Hernandez their due, but also allow Douglas her 2nd Olympics. Based on the way the olympic team AAers have been performing, if Douglas gets to do the AA in quals, she is going to get 2-per-country’ed out by Biles and either Raisman or Hernandez. Biles, Raisman and Hernandez are consistently 1-2-3 (or 1-3-2 depending on the day). It should be between the 3 of them who gets the 2 slots in the AA for the USA.

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      • I agree that different rules applied to Gabby. That is unfair. However…does anyone think Mykayla will be better received internationally than Gabby? Mykayla’s Cheng is good. Her FX and beam will get hammered by the judges.

        All I will say about Gabby is that I understand why Marta is including her. I also agree that it’s not fair from the rankings and numbers.

        By the way, I was looking right at the girls when they came out of the tunnel for the team announcement. What I will always remember is how classy Maggie was. She must have been absolutely crushed, but she didn’t pout or sulk. She smiled and hugged everyone. I am a lifelong fan of Maggie because of that. She handled her disappointment better than I could have imagined possible. Hey OU fans, please give Maggie a standing ovation for every routine during her time there. She is a gem.

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      • @Grace, it doesn’t matter how Gabby/McKayla will be received. What matters is McKayla’s Cheng vs. Gabby’s bars. Both are replacing routines that score between a 14.8 and a 15.1, so all we have to determine is which will score higher. McKayla’s average vault score was about a 15.4, and Gabby’s average bar score was about a 15.1. McKayla was the right decision, plain and simple.

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      • Totally agree with Firebird’s analysis (teams with Skinner or Douglas). As Dick Button said about an under-performing skater, “Potential is potential is potential.” Also agree that in a fair world, Douglas should be the one who doesn’t go up on UB in qualifying; Raisman may lose out on the AA spot to Hernandez, but she’s more than earned the right to try. Also agree on the team finals line-ups (Douglas doing UB in TF only).

        On a different note, Liukin and Daggett suggested a couple of times that if the US could send two teams, the second team would also be in medal contention. So here’s my pick for that B team from the mythical country of Columbica:

        Skinner, Smith, Nichols, Locklear, Dowell, with alternates Gowey, Hundley,and Desiderio.

        Vault: Skinner, Nichols, Dowell, Smith (drop)
        Bars: Locklear, Dowell, Smith, Nichols (drop Smith or Nichols depending on how things go)
        Beam: Skinner, Smith, Nichols, Dowell (drop)
        Floor: Skinner, Nichols, Smith, Dowell (drop Smith or Dowell depending on how things go)

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    • Best we can hope for is gabby gets whipped in shape by marta. b/c she will do ub in qual and therefore also doing AA. I am not betting on laurie, aly, and simone all doing AA, even though that might be the fairest most obvious…

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    • I would love that too @Olivia – let them duke it out fairly. But it won’t happen because Kocian is there for UB and she needs to do UB in Quals to try for an individual medal. Someone will get screwed out an AA chance.

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      • What I’m hoping is that UB in quals is: Aly, Simone, Laurie, Madison. I know that probably won’t happen though :/ Even if someone is screwed out of an AA chance, I think the top two will be Simone and Aly/Laurie… based on this weekend Gabby definitely can’t top any of them, which is why it doesn’t seem fair for her to do AA. 😦

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      • The annoying thing in all of this is that Gabby legitimately is the second best gymnast in the world. I am not with her every day, so it is hard to comment, but I can only conclude she doesn’t train very hard or consistently. Martha seems to hint at that too in her post competition interviews. I legitimately think Gabby is likely to do all around and may very well snag a silver in the all around. If that happens, it will ironically make me more mad, because it just shows she has all this talent and doesn’t do what it takes to take advantage of it unless she is scolded into doing so by Martha. Like why the hell is she promoting barbies on instagram? She should be training.

        My intuition tells me Simone, Laurie and Gabby will be doing the AA. Logically, it is a big risk at the olympics to make someone’s first bar routine happen in the team final. Aly isn’t going to be used in the final, and SImone won’t be used either. That means only one of them realistically should go up in quals. Which one would you put up?

        Gabby had best bring her Amanar to Olympics, and really should bring her bar upgrades as well. We will see what magic Martha brings. I wouldn’t have expected Gabby to get second at Worlds last year after her summer performances, but she did.

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      • In an ideal world, all 4 get to compete AA in Quals AND madison gets to go up on bars – obviously the rules preclude this. I think the 4 meets held at home in the lead up to the Olympics (2 days of PGs and 2 days of Trials) should be the de facto deciding factor and in 0/4 did Gabby prove that she deserves one of 3 AAers (let alone one of 2). It kills me that Gabby’s best event is Aly’s worst – because she will likely be the one who gets screwed out of an AA opportunity even though she’s been killing it the past couple of months.

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      • Marta already said Gabby won’t be training the amanar for Rio. She wants her to focus on the skills she has. So without it, can she really outscore Aly or Laurie? If politics come into play for Gabby, they will for Aly too. Marta isn’t going to let a first year senior do AA over Aly, the most decorated US gymnast from London. So if anyone is going to be screwed, it will be Laurie sadly.

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  20. I have questions on so many things. When does the camp start? Do alternates travel to Rio? At what point can an alternate be switched in? Do you think the US will medal in bars? Don’t other athletes have much higher start values? I have more but I think those are my big ones.

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    • http://www.teamusa.org/News/2016/June/26/QA-With-Olympic-Gymnastics-Alternates-Leyva-Modi-And-Whittenburg

      Not sure how the women will do it exactly but I suspect they will travel and train in rio. they have to because otherwise they won’t be ready or be able to timely replace…. Given that the alternates are Ragan, Skinner, Locklear each with different but complementary strongpoint, they are actually in good hand and I am actually very satisfied in that aspect (even if I am disappointed with the trial)…

      the chance of us medaling in bars is likely lower than worlds. but you never know sometimes… I bet even maddie herself wasn’t expecting the gold medal last yr.

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    • Camp starts this week I’m not sure the day. Alternates are traveling to Rio this year. Alternates can be switched up to 24 hours before the competition starts, or by petition up until the time they get on the floor.

      I would be shocked if Maddie didn’t get a bar medal. She may even get gold. No, there aren’t “much higher” start values. Fan’s is .3 higher. Seitz’s is .1 higher. Spiridonova has the same start value. Becky Downie in theory has .1 higher but misses her connections all the time. Aliya is over gymnastics from the look of her Russian Cup performance, but I don’t think her start value is even at Madison’s level. Shang’s is the same as Madison’s. So overall, there are 2 athletes with higher start values, but Madison’s execution has been superior this year, albeit she hasn’t competed internationally. Put it this way, I think it’s more likely that Madison wins gold than it is she goes home without some sort of medal. The US weakness on bars is definitely exaggerated, in my opinion.

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      • Well Lauren explained it way better than I can, so you should really go back and look at the “You Asked” from last week. But basically, if an athlete gets injured either within 24 hours of quals or between quals and finals, the team can petition to replace that person. It isn’t guaranteed, but Lauren seemed to believe the petition would be granted if the athlete really is so injured that s/he could not compete. Thus, the only risk to using Locklear would be if two out of Simone, Aly, and Laurie got injured at any point during team finals, or if two of those three got injured prior to landing vault in team competition. USA could afford to count a 0 on one of floor/vault during quals and still make team final, but could not afford two 0’s.

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  21. Letting Gabby do AA in Quals over Laurie or Aly would be a travesty. I do not think she deserves the opportunity and her bars will not factor into the individual medals. The fair thing to do is have Laurie, Aly, and Simone do AA in Quals. Gabby can do VT, BB, FX in quals to feel like she is contributing, and then UB in team finals. Her bars are top 3 in the US, but are not good enough to be top 3 or even top 8 internationally, in my opinion. Especially if she keeps making even those small mistakes.

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  22. If it was right to put Gabby on the Team is debatable. I personally would have loved to see Mykyla Skinner get the spot because of how much she has improved on her form and presentation in the last few months.

    What bothers me the most is the way the whole Trials Process was staged. Why put the girls through Classics/P&Gs/Trials if they don’t really matter that much in the end? Why invite Amelia Hundley, Brenna Dowell, Christina Desiderio etc. to a competition where they won’t even show ONE of their routines or acknowledge in the least the work that they have put into the program? Trials was one big “show” to make money with a sold out arena and make USA gymnastics more known.

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    • ^^^ This. My non gym fan boyfriend was so confused as I explained to him that the scores don’t really count, and that Gabby can be on the team in spite of mediocre performances, and that there were actually 5 other gymnasts competing too, but weren’t shown once. It doesn’t make any sense.

      In the last 15 years or so since they’ve been using a selection committee, there’s no need for the Olympic Trials at all really. Marta could just pick the team at a camp a month before the games, but NBC would miss out on their money that way.

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    • I totally agree. If the team is set in April, why not hold classics and nationals in April? Why give girls false hope?

      Actually, I think there shouldn’t be a committee at all. I think the team should be based on math. Give 50% weight to P&Gs and 50% to trials. Take the 5 girls who maximize the team score. The team would have been Simone, Aly, Laurie, Madison and Ashton.

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      • Obviously you think gym is maths : that’s your problem. Gym is all but maths, it’s a complex mix with performance, code of points (i.e. pure subjectivity about what is difficult and what isn’t), artistry, show, reputation, money (well, in USA) and narrativity, etc.

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    • I have to agree. My husband watched with me last night and said, “I guess we know who the team is” when they showed the segment with the moms before announcing the team. We were talking about it some more today and he said what a lot of casual viewers probably think, that Gabby has the potential to be great. While that may be true, it just seems so unfair to the women who gave this everything they had and actually came out ahead of Gabby. Making the Olympic team is not supposed to be about what an athlete might be capable of, but what they prove when it matters like Skinner did. What this really says is that Trials doesn’t matter, and it makes me so mad that all of these athletes were put through this. For what? To determine an alternate spot when we know they will never be used anyway? I am so thankful no one was injured during the competition – the fact that Baumann went down in training is tragic enough.

      I also am incredibly frustrated with the coverage this weekend. The focus on Gabby was so obviously meant to create drama and set us up for her to be on the team regardless of her performance. The fact that we watched Gabby drink water while Tim and Al talked about her coaching change for the 100th time instead of seeing what are likely the final elite performances from many of these gymnasts (Gowey, Dowell, Hundley…) was upsetting, particularly since the routines will likely never be made available online.

      Sorry for the rant. I am not trying to be anti-Gabby. I worry that the drama surrounding Gabby will be a distraction for the team, when really we should be focusing on the talent and positive energy radiating from the other team members. Not looking forward to the continuation of this storyline at the Olympics.

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    • Something tells me the girls you mentioned – Hundley, Dowell, Desiderio, etc., who knew they had little or no chance of an alternate, don’t mind being invited anyway. As the saying goes, they’re just happy to be there. Making the Olympic Trials is still a huge accomplishment, and although it’s disappointing that they’re barely acknowledged by the media (not you Lauren!) I bet competing in that sold-out arena full of screaming fans was an amazing experience for them.

      I agree that the process itself was kind of a sham, but I see no problem with inviting the girls who aren’t even part of the alternate conversation but nonetheless impressed at nationals this year. That’s recognition of their work.

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    • Gymnastics in the US is a show. A huge money making show. The trials were part of that show. (Shrug) It was more of an NBC production than a sporting event. I knew that going in.

      I will miss Maggie, Rachel and Brenna SO MUCH!!! I am so glad they were at trials. They deserved to out of the elite world in this fashion. Of course they were never going to make the team. But they should be included in the process because they are wonderful. I hate the US depth sometimes.

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  23. As far as I know all Olympic sports are required to have a trials. As Marta is the dictator and picks everything I don’t think this time around she probably felt the trials was necessary. I believe if they’d let her she’d have named her team like 4 weeks ago. Some other countries have already.

    Several different permutations of this team would win gold we can all agree, and our team being so talented makes these arguments happen in the first place but I’m satisfied with the team and I want them all to do well. Mckayla did amazing and I’m pleased with her improvement. If she got picked I wouldn’t have been surprised or disappointed .

    I wish we still had a 6 member team. I feel like nobody would having this argument

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  24. What bothers me most is all the news articles saying that Gabby will be headlining the Olympic team. What about Aly and Simone, who has dominated this quad, both of whom will likely contribute more to the team in terms of performances and medals??? That shows how much Gabby’s name and sponsors are carrying her. Her spot was pretty much guaranteed regardless of her performance.

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  25. Why didn’t the girls do two vaults on day 2? If Mykayla had shown her Amanar and Cheng I wonder if it would have made a difference, especially since Martha was disappointed that Gabby didn’t show her Amanar at trials…

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    • Does not make one bit of a difference even if mykayla did amanar and cheng on both days and score as well as simone. They had that bars hole that needs to be filled…. Marta wants a well rounded team. without gabby bars, simone would be the last consistent bars before the suboptimal bars of skinner and aly… There would be no rest for simone on ub in tf… Skinner might have added a little to the overall score as well as another medal potential but Marta’s main goal is to have a well rounded team with no weakness and multiple back ups on everything…

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  26. Changing subject a little bit – three gymnasts were at the 2012 trials and the 2016 trials (Douglas, Raisman, Dowell – the latter of which I don’t think anyone would have predicted – I was very pleasantly surprised). Of all the gymnasts at the 2016 trials, who do you think will be back for a shot at 2020?

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    • I could see Ragan sticking around. I could see Laurie sticking around if she doesn’t grow like Kyla did. Maybe Ashton since the next quad will really favor her getting an individual spot. People have said Gabby could make 3 teams, but I don’t really see it. I think she’s just mentally so done. So I will go with Ragan, Laurie, and Ashton in order of likelihood, but who knows?

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    • I agree. Ashton definitely will be back next year. She has stated that she is deferring college just for that reason. I really want her to get that world medal that she deserved. and if she can stick it out to 2020 I would love to see her in that individual spot. I do think however that she will need some upgrades though but there is absolutely nothing that will hold her back at all.

      Laurie is only 16 like kyla in 2012. she will be back and could be the leading AA (imagine if she gets an amanar and some upgrades on fx!). Ragan will be back as she is only 15-16. Desiderio is definitely coming back as she is also only 15-16.

      I think gabby is probably done for. aly probably won’t come back. simone might after a year of break but could be back.

      Kocian is heading to college, so is Maggie, brenna, schild, hundley, skinner, gowey, Nichols,

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      • I would LOVE if Simone came back, but how likely do you think that is? Don’t want to get my hopes up. She would definitely solidify herself as the greatest of all time if she maintained even 80% of her level next quad.

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  27. I don’t think Gabby should have made it. It’s more than just falls – it’s the sense that she seems to be “mailing it in” and relying on her status as the reigning champ to shoehorn her way in. Look, everyone has an off day. I get it. I wouldn’t have eliminated her based on having a few mistakes as long as it seemed like she was truly fighting for the spot. I mean, Carly P. bombed beam at Trials and obviously still deserved her spot. No question. But there IS something to be said for what kind of attitude you display during your routines and a seeming lack of work ethic, as Marta herself has CLEARLY alluded to. It truly, truly is not fair that Gabby is given the luxury of “peaking late” while the other girls are expected to kill it every time out. THAT is what bothers me – not that she was a bit off the last two meets. She herself said during these Trials that she had “lost her passion” and needed to get it back. Huh? If she doesn’t up her game and find her “passion” (her words) during camp, she absolutely deserves to lose her spot. That’s not mean, it’s not racist, and it’s not hateful. It’s reality. All of these girls worked their a—- off for the last 10 years. Do your job, or you’re out.

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    • I agree entirely. Gabby had no business NOT competing the AA at Classics. The only gymnast who should have been exempt from ALL of these comp’s is Simone (to keep her training and healthy). Aly has had to compete AA at every meet she can, and let’s not forget she is a reigning Olympic champion too (yet still had to show a floor at every comp). In fact, Aly is the most-decorated US gymnast from 2012 (and was a crappy tie-breaker away from being the most decorated gymnast. And, even in 2012, Aly qualified to AA over Gabby and Jordyn – with the exception of the actual 2012 AA final, 2015 Worlds (where Aly was 2-per’ed out of finals), and 2016 Jesolo (which was in MARCH), Aly has been the more consistent finisher. Lastly, Aly is objectively a better gymnast than she was in 2012, Gabby is not.

      If/when Gabby gets an AA spot in Rio, it’ll be interesting to see if Laurie or Aly gets the 3rd spot. The comps at the Ranch between now and then will be fierce but someone will be disappointed. I have a feeling that Gabby is going to get an AA spot to continue Martha’s riding of the ‘let’s bring the reigning champ back’ wave. At this point we have to assume routines are not changing, only being refined. If that is the case, Gabby is going to get 2-per’ed out of the AA final by Laurie or Aly anyway.

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      • When I think about the girls who cried themselves to sleep last night after either being named an alternate or not getting a spot at all, I have very little sympathy for someone who “lacks passion” and gets a pass for “peaking late,” I find it unfair and unjustifiable. Just my opinion.

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      • I really want gabby to do well to justify her 2nd chance. I hope that she can still have time to at least get that amanar in. But if in the end, she is unable to capitalize on her 2nd chance, then at least in this instance, the 2 per country rule ironically and unintentionally will met out the needed justice.

        I have my wishes but it’s pretty much forgone that she is doing ub in qual and hence AA in qual..

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      • To say Gabby didn’t deserve to sit out the AA at Classics is not fair- it’s not like everyone else was required to do AA and she only had to do two routines, most only did one or two

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      • totally agree. And Gabby won’t be doing the amanar. Martha has already said that in an interview from Sunday night. Said she is too inconsistent on the skills she currently has and there won’t be time to focus on adding anything.

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      • @Mary, I realize a lot of other gymnasts only did one or two rotations (namely Simone and Laurie) – both of those gymnasts have been locks since Classics, if not earlier. Why did Aly have to prove herself and not Gabby? It was just as big an uphill for Aly.

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  28. With that team, I can’t wait Olympic Games. US team is obviously the strongest team and Simone is the best AAer and vaulter. The struggle will be hard for silver and bronze, team and All around. China, Russia and UK will give the show for the team podium, and the second US all-arounder (Douglas ? Raisman ? Hernandez ?), Chinese girls, Melnikova, Steingruber, Ellie Downie will fight for AA medals. Vault seems to be promised to Simone. UB will be an incredibly high-level final (Madison will have to be perfect to gain a (bronze) medal). Unexpectedly, Biles could be challenged on beam (Hernandez, Saraiva, Chang, Mustafina). Floor will be more closely fought than expected : Raisman, Fragapane, Steingruber (6.9 in training) could tease a non-perfect Simone Biles ! I think the level is higher than in 2012 and that’s so exciting. In 2012, USA got 5 medals (3 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze) on 11 possible. Do you think, USA will do better in Rio than in London ?

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    • Gold Medals:
      Team (99%)
      All Around (99%)
      Floor (95%)
      Vault (90%)
      Balance Beam (75%)
      Uneven Bars (33%)
      Average:4.91 gold medals. I’ll round that to 5/6. Simone’s biggest competition on AA is the other American. On floor it’s Aly. On beam it is Laurie and Sanne. Not sure where you think Saraiva, Chang, and Mustafina are going to compete. They don’t have the highest scores of the year.

      Overall Medals:
      Team (virtually 100%)
      All Around #1 (virtually 100%)
      All Around #2 (95%)
      Floor (Virtually 100%)
      Floor #2 (95%)
      Vault (99%)
      Balance Beam (99%)
      Balance Beam #2 (80%)
      Uneven Bars (90%)
      Average: 8.58 medals. I’ll round that to 9/11. I think they will miss the second medals in UB and VT. It would be a gigantic disappointment if the US only won 5 medals in Rio. I expect Simone to win 5 medals by herself.

      I actually think, outside of the US, the competition seems to have regressed, and I expect the medal haul will show that. I’m predicting 9 medals for the US, 3 for China, 2 for Switzerland, 1 for Netherlands, 1 for Russia, 1 for UK, and 1 for North Korea.

      Ellie Downie is not a legitimate contender for the AA medal. Shang, Melnikova, and Steingruber could beat Raisman/Hernandez, but not unless Raisman/Hernandez fall or have other huge errors.

      Madison doesn’t have to be perfect to win a bronze. She has to be perfect to win a gold. Madison’s average score is .4 higher than anyone else’s average on the year. So either domestic judges are inflating her score by .4 and all other domestic judges are magically judging fairly, or Madison is the favorite for the gold medal. Granted, Fan when she doesn’t fall scores higher than Maddie, so I could see saying Fan is the favorite, but Fan does fall with some frequency.

      Fragapane isn’t in the floor conversation. She doesn’t even push 15 in most meets. We’ll see what Steingruber actually competes in Rio. Usually, last minute upgrades debuted at the Olympics don’t work out well. See Komova, Victoria on vault. If she hits a 6.9, she will definitely medal and could theoretically push Aly to Bronze or win gold if Simone has a major error (not just OOB).

      If you look at the numbers, the US has the highest average score on every event, and, in many cases, the highest average second score as well. Anything less than 7 medals would be a disappointment, and I think 9 is the realistic expectation.

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      • Maddie and ashton bars does get bonus love at home compared to what they got at 2014 and 2015 worlds so you have to subtract about 0.3 pt. She still could win bronze but there is an awful lots of competition in ub ef… And you can bet that a lot of them make sure they hit their routines in EF (see the Russians and Chinese in ub ef compared to how they do in TF)… There will be two Chinese there as well as two Russian so it won’t be a fun easy day for Maddie at all…

        I do think that outside competition has definitely regressed overall in TF…

        US did get 8 medals at 2015 worlds. 9 is the realistic max. I am going for a more conservative 8 so I won’t feel real disappointed :)..

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      • WP but Madison is more than .3 above the nearest non US competitor’s average and her highest score is more than .3 above anyone else’s highest score but Fan Yilin, who doesn’t always stay on. That’s why I think this talk about how hard it is for Maddie to medal is so silly. It’s not like it’s oh so close. Madison is getting better this year while most of her competition seems to be getting worse.

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  29. I think there are several LIKELY or PROBABLE scenarios that will play out in Rio, but I don’t think we can say for sure that something WILL happen. I’d be shocked if Simone didn’t win the AA, but if she falls twice, it could happen. As we saw last night, Simone is not super-human. She fell. She had mistakes at Worlds last year. She could lose. I just don’t think it’s likely she will. Same with Team USA–I’d be shocked if they didn’t win the Team Final, but a rash of injuries, some falls, and underperforming by Simone could result in a silver or bronze. It’s not out of the realm of possibility.

    As for the team, I went through dozens of different line-ups in my head, but I think the team that was chosen still makes the most sense. Gabby’s routines can contribute to Team USA the most IF they’re hit. Obviously Marta and the selection committee believe she can do it. Marta has left off former Olympians in the past (Nastia and Shawn), so I don’t think there is some conspiracy going on. Russia always seems to rely heavily on veterans. I think this year it just so happens that Team USA’s potential team members happen to include two veterans from 2012. I’ve seen that experience factor work for Russia. It will probably work for Team USA in Rio, too. Probably . . .

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  30. Two thoughts:
    1 – I think Aly wasn’t crying as hard as she was in 2012 cuz she knows Gabby being on the team is likely the nail in her AA medal coffin.
    2 – Do you think they would ever replace an athlete (ahem Gabby) after the camp if she really wasn’t improving? If Skinner (or Ashton or Ragan) continues to slay at camp and Gabby is still showing mediocre (for the US) routines, would they ever replace her? Or maybe she gets “injured” so it’s not a PR disaster?

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    • that’s a little silly. You think Aly thought she would beat Jordyn and Gabby in London in AA? No, she didn’t She was shocked when Mihai pointed to the scoreboard. She was ugly crying right after Laurie’s beam when trials were finished. She said she didn’t cry when they walked out because it took longer to try the warmups on and cried it out then. And Martha told them to look happy. I don’t know about replacing Gabby – I seriously doubt it. Gabby will for sure be on the team when they land in Rio – if she can’t get it together at that point, then maybe. On Gymcastic they actually talked about how Gabby almost didn’t do AA in 2012 because she couldn’t hit beam in training. So I could see something like that coming into play here.

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    • I just think they have all over analyzed this as much as we have, and in London Aly knew she’d be going up for the AA, whether or not she was favored to make it, even if it was a surprise that she made it. This time around she’s been pretty up front about wanting another shot (and I think she deserves it) at AA this year. She knows if Marta gives Gabby the AA shot (or the UB Quals shot) that she or Laurie is out of AA – and Laurie beat her both nights at Trials.

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      • I agree with you Clementine. The only consideration for Aly is, if Martha and committee were supposed to be considering Nationals and Trials, Aly beat Laurie both night at Nat’s. It’s going to be tough… or not tough if they pull Gabby off bars in qualifications.

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  31. Shout out to Lauren. Thank you for providing this forum for us all to collectively fangirl, hyperventilate, obsess, purge, and generally lose our sh*t. No one in my social circle knows anything about gymnastics. I would probably be in therapy if there were no gym blogs.

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  32. Matthew Boyle sooo needs to get a hobby…

    Thanks again Lauren!

    Oh, and ‘Go Gabby’!

    Hopefully that was all easy to understand for lames who have never heard of slang.

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  33. An odd question, but do the teams have to nominate who is competing on each event in QF in advance? Or can they decide on the spot? I ask because the USA finishes on UB so theoretically they could have Simone, Aly, Laurie and Gabby all compete the first 3 events and then decide based on those results who gets to go up on bars and therefore do AA. While it would be rough on whoever didn’t get chosen, as there are 4 strong contenders but only 3 chances and ultimately 2 AA spots it might be the fairest way to do it.

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    • you can’t have simone, aly, laurie, and gabby all doing ub in qual. That would leave maddie out of qual for ub ef. Simone and maddie are your definite lock to do ub in qual. Which means there’s only 2 left for 3 AA (laurie, aly, gabby).

      I do believe they have to give the line up in advance, but can switch around on the fly among the members on the floor if there is last minute injury. They will make up their mind by the end of podium training probably. But the ways it’s going I think most of us are sadly accepting that gabby will get to do ub in qual and therefore also doing AA no matter what shape of an AA she’s in.

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      • Sorry, I think it was unclear what I was saying. I meant that as the US is starting on BB and ending on UB (correct?) they could therefore have Simone, Aly, Gabby and Laurie do BB, FX and VT. Then for UB have Madison, Simone and decide on the spot based on that day’s results which 2 out of Aly, Laurie and Gabby get to do bars and therefore AA. So whoever is best on the day gets the chance.

        I guess I’m just clinging at straws in the hopes that they won’t just automatically let Gabby do AA!

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