Now it’s time to go for gold! After a grueling two days at the U.S. Olympic trials in San Jose, California, famed gymnastics team coordinator Martha Karolyi announced on Sunday, July 10, the women who will be competing for the stars and stripes next month in Rio de Janeiro.
Those women are Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, Madison Kocian and Laurie Hernandez. The alternates for the team are MyKayla Skinner, Ashton Locklear and Ragan Smith.
The team includes two returning members from London’s Fierce 5.
Raisman, the 2012 team captain who won three medals in London, was nervous the day before the meet started.
“It doesn’t feel real at all actually,” she told Us of coming back to the trials. “It doesn’t really sink in that I’ve already been here before.”
Douglas, who struggled throughout the competition, was expecting tears — like when she was named to the team in 2012.
“I might cry again!” the two-time gold medalist told Us. “When you’ve just done so much hard work and just put a lot of hours into something, you want it to turn out like a masterpiece. All the tears, all the hard work — it’s something so special.”
Despite being a three-time world champion (and four-time national champion), 19-year-old Biles never considered herself a shoo-in.
“All of us still have to earn our spots and nothing is ever handed to us, so we all have something to prove whenever we get there, it’s not like any of us have an automatic spot,” she told Us on Thursday.
Biles was prepared for an emotional moment. “I’ll probably [feel] a thousand emotions at once,” she explained. “Probably tears, but we shall see — I’m not sure. I don’t know, I’m scared.”
Hernandez did phenomenally at the competition, having been recently named to the senior level this year. At just 16, she was in awe of competing against the girls she had admired at the London Olympics. Now she will compete with two of them next month in Rio.
“It’s just crazy. I remember sitting on the couch with my mom as we were watching all these girls and thinking, like, ‘Look at them, they’re so amazing,’ and now that I’m here and I’m competing with them!” she told Us.
The fifth spot went to uneven bars specialist Kocian, who beat out Locklear, another uneven bar specialist. The 19-year-old felt confident after Friday.
“I just focus on myself because that’s all you can control, you can’t control what anyone else does,” she told Us. “I think for me, what I did tonight — it definitely will help me for the selection process and I just need to do the same on Sunday.”
The girls will train hard before the Olympics, and KT Tape, a sponsor of USA Gymnastics, will help keep the team in premier health.
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The Rio Olympics begin August 5 and will be streamed live on NBCOlympics.com and on the NBC Sports app. The Rio Paralympics begin September 7 and will be streamed live on TeamUSA.org.
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