|Kyla, McKayla, Aly, Jordan, Gabby|
After London everyone except Jordan Wieber was certain about coming back. She was the it girl that year and everyone was expecting her to win the All-Around and she didn't even get to compete for it. I was so, so sad for her. Aly Raisman edged her out for a spot in All-Around finals and then Gabby Douglas went on to win the whole thing. Out of all of them Jordan suffered the biggest disappointment and would have the most to prove by coming back for redemption. She didn't commit, but she also didn't rule it out. She was not eligible for collegiate competition having gone pro, but secured a place as gymnastics team manager at UCLA. She continued some training there but could not find the motivation to mount a serious comeback and officially announced her retirement earlier this year. I think she is enjoying college life and that California sunshine too much to go back to the cold of Michigan and the daily grind of gymnastics. Who can blame her?
McKayla Maroney made made it clear that she loved gymnastics too much to give it up and was serious about continuing onto Rio. She did some acting gigs and appearances after London. I feel really bad for her because she made a valiant effort to continue. She got injured on the post Olympic tour, but came back and was competing at a World Championships in the All Around just a year after the Olympics. Having been known as a vault specialist in London it was a really big deal for her. Having missed out on a Vaulting Gold that really should have been hers it was also a really big deal that she won it at 2013Worlds the year after. She was looking so good and was so determined but she had injury after injury and a few surgeries. Her body just wasn't having it and it looks like she's down for the count. If she's not in the mix now I don't imagine it's possible for her to even dream about coming back now. I don't think there has been an official announcement but the only thing I've seen from her lately is sexy selfies on Instagram. But really, what is with the sexy selfies? It's pretty much all she posts. According to an interview with Marta Karolyi she is having some ongoing medical issues with her heart.
Kyla Ross never left the gym. At fifteen she was the youngest member of the 2012 team and just getting started so it was no surprise that she didn't skip a beat and was right back to serious training. She was the only one of her teammates not to turn pro and do the full post Olympic tour. She only did West Coast dates so she could continue to train. She's continued to be a fixture on the US National team winning medals at every Worlds and Nationals. She would have been girl on top but Simone Biles came onto the scene and bumped her out of a World All Around title in 2013 and she has placed 2nd to her at every nationals. She has only had a few minor injuries which is amazing in this sport where you expect to get injured constantly. She has stayed the course and I will be so disappointed if she doesn't make next year's team. She has had to deal with a growth spurt and has been criticized over and over for doing the same skills from 2012. Marta loves her for her consistency and pretty gymnastics but the rest of the pack is catching up and I don't think Rio is possible unless she upgrades her difficulty. Her gymnastics continues to be solid and she is right in there with the young whipper snappers coming up provided she upgrades.
Aly Raisman did Dancing with the Stars and all kinds of fun stuff after the Olympics. She got her own leotard collection from GK Elite and was recently featured in ESPN's 2015 Body Edition. My goodness that girl is fit. They all are. She needed some time off to live a normal life for a little while, but her intention was always to come back. She had an amazing Olympics walking away with a Gold on floor and a Bronze on beam in addition to team gold, but just missed out on an individual AA medal medal. She started training at the end of 2013 in Massachussets with her same coach, was back at US National training camps at the end of 2014 and competed at City of Jesolo Trophy 2015 in March. I love her. I love her attitude, her consistency, and her personality. She has had so much success and yet remains humble and hard working. She is still full of power, but really needs to clean up her form which has always been one of her weaknesses. I really want her to make the team. I want EVERYONE to make it!
Gabby Douglas. She basked in the post Olympic glory as well, with TV appearances and magazine covers. She had a movie made about her life and slo got her very own GK Elite leotard collection. She moved to Los Angeles and then got back in the gym mid 2014. She originally went back to Chow's who trained her through the Olympics, but then bounced around to a few other gyms before settling down at Buckeye's in Ohio. She was looking kind of flaky, but has stayed put. It was announced earlier this year that she was going to have a reality show set in LA, but I haven't heard anything else about it. She went back to training camp around the same time Aly did and had the first comeback meet at Jesolo last year as well. She is looking really good. I have mixed feelings about Gabby. I loved her underdog story from 2012 and her gymnastics, but found myself put off by her cocky attitude in interviews right away. I don't know what it is, but arrogance is just not a likable character trait in my opinion and she oozes it. I though she had toned it down a bit when I watched a few interviews while she was training for her comeback, but no. It's back. I want to like her a lot more than I do, but her gymnastics speaks for itself. Physically, she hasn't changed much since 2012 and her gymnastics looks really clean and solid.
The it girl of this Olympic cycle is undoubtedly Simone Biles. She wins everything. She is the 2013 and 2014 World AA Champion and not even Alya Mustafina from Russia could beat her. She is a machine. She is powerful, solid and while she does not have long graceful lines she is very clean. The girl is seriously blessed with natural talent for this sport, plus she is a work horse. Everyone, including the former Olympians are chasing her and it's pretty much a given that barring some bizarre unforeseen circumstance she will be on the 2016 team. I expect her to win too, but Jordan's story and Mckayla's fall when she was a sure thing for Vault gold is a cautionary tale. You never know. Not only is she good, but she has the most adorable personality ever and always looks like she is having fun. There is not an arrogant bone in her body. She committed to UCLA, but then announced her decision to turn pro on July 29th. I don't blame her. Gymnastics is expensive and if things go the way they should she will make enough money to finance a college education and then some. It can be a risky move, but she WILL get endorsements and make a ton of money provided she continues doing exactly what she's doing and doesn't get hurt.
How did they do at Classics? Simone Biles won of course. Gabby Douglas came in an impressive 2nd, just 2.0 points behind Simone who has been known to win by so many points that she could fall five times and still win. Aly fell on floor and came in 5th. Kyla, who only competed bars and beam fell on an upgraded bar move. It's basically Simone Biles and then everyone else, but the rest of the pack is catching up with Kyla. She needs time to get comfortable with upgrades so I hope the fall doesn't send her back to her safe moves.
It is absolutely ridiculous how deep the US team is right now and how hard it is going to be to make the World team this year let alone the Olympic team next year. Next year!! It's less than a year away now. As much as I love a good comeback story and want all the veterans to make it I don't see that happening. And you know what? I want to go to Rio too. I am getting so excited that it getting so close and it is just killing me right now that I've been shut out of two ticket request phases and that when they finally did live sales I was in Kauai without my Visa card. Gymnastics is one of the hottest and hardest to get tickets around. I got the email that day, but if you weren't trying to get tickets within minutes of going live they were as good as gone. I can still go if I want to see Taekwando or Basketball, but for me it's gymnastics or bust.
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3 minute P & G Championships (USA Nationals) podium training video
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