Those Olympic Odds

The Summer Olympics in London are only two months away!!! I am so excited. Most people only pay attention to gymnastics during the Olympics but because I'm always obsessed with all things Gymnastics I've been looking forward to this for a while.  The Visa Nationals (June 9-10) and US Olympic Trials (July 1) are the big competitions leading up to it and Olympic competition begins on July 28th.
[Photo Source]  Seven Olympic Dreams in 1996
In the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta there were Seven.  Who can forget the Mag 7 team Gold and Kerri Strug's heroic vault?  For team finals 6 gymnasts competed on each event and 5 scores counted.  In the 2000 Sydney Olympics they reduced the number on each team to 6 with 5 gymnasts up on each event and 4 scores counting.  In Beijing 2008 they kept the number on each team at 6 but they changed the format to only 3 gymnasts up on each event with all 3 scores counting.  Very unforgiving as there is literally  no margin for error plus that often means less Olympic action for each gymnast.  And now, for London 2012 they have reduced the  number to only 5 with the same 3 up 3 count team finals format.  Obviously, everyone can't be an Olympian but Seven gives a decent number of gymnasts that chance.  But only Five? Even to reduce it by two spots is major.  Each reduction from 7 to 6 to 5 basically cuts someone's Olympic dream.  The IOC says the cuts were made to encourage diversity and more participation from other countries.  Limiting athletes per team allows more individual slots from other countries.  But still, Five is just too low.

[Photo Source] 2011 World Team:  Ana, Jordan, Mckayla, Sabrina, Aly, Gabby.
All six are going for the 2012 Olympics but only five spots are available.
It is mind boggling to me that only five female gymnasts will get to the Olympics this year.

The 2011 World Team Medalists~The whole Gold medal winning World Championship Team is trying for a spot but there are only two that I consider to be a sure thing.  Jordan Wieber the current USA #1 and reigning World All Around Champ is all but guaranteed a spot as long as she doesn't get injured.  Aly Raisman is another World medalist that is almost guaranteed because she has great difficulty, is consistent and has proven herself time and time again.  The way I see it there are really only three spots that are up for grabs!  Out of the remaining four who made up that team I'd say Gabby Douglas has the best chance, Ana Li is a long shot and McKayla Maroney and Sabrina Vega fall somewhere in between. 

[Photo Source]  So beautiful! She Nailed that beam routine 2 weeks ago.
The Veteran /Comeback group~  So what about a gymnast like 2007 National Champ Rebecca Bross?  After two back to back injuries she still hasn't given up in this.  Three years ago she was the one everyone thought would be next in line to be the All Around Champion in 2012 but things have changed and that won't happen now.  She got injured, she's out of time and has been reduced to only two events; Bars and Beam with her Beam routine being pretty shaky.  I can't imagine how difficult it must be for her to continue training so many hours per day six days a week when with only two events and the fact that she is barely getting back into competition the odds are really not in her favor.  Two time Olympian Alicia Sacramone is back and only plans to do Vault and Beam whereas at the last Olympics she did those events plus floor.  She's also coming off of an injury and hasn't competed in a while but can usually be counted on to be consistent.  Her odds are better then Rebecca's in my opinion.  2008 Olympic All Around Champion Nastia Liukin has come back to the sport after three years with her best two events Bars and Beam.  She nailed her  beam two weeks ago at the Secret Classic showing us this comeback is for real.  Her beauty is unmatched on those two events and I'd love to see her in the Olympics again.  Not being All Arounders and doing the same events you already know that at best only one of those three girls has any chance of making the team.  And there is also Bridget Sloan; a member of the 2008 Olympic team and the 2009 World All Around Champion who has been mostly out of commission ever since. I think she's planning four events.  Shawn Johnson (2008 All Around silver medalist) decided to make a comeback after blowing out her knee skiing and was supposed to be competing but just announced her retirement on Sunday. 

Right there alone, that's ten athletes battling for only five spots.  On top of that there are a few up and comers who are not veterans and who were not part of that World Championship team last year that also have an outside shot.  It's the World Champions who have proven themselves to be ready right now and want their turn VS the veterans with great past accomplishments who still think they have what it takes VS the exciting newcomers with amazing talent, nothing to lose and everything to prove.

Only Five gymnasts.  More dreams will be crushed then will come true.  Who will make it?

The 2012 Visa Nationals Women's Day 1 can be seen Live Friday 5pm West Coast  here at Universal Sports online and on Sunday the Finals will air on NBC at 1pm West Coast time.  Both days will remain viewable on Universal Sports online.


Faith said...

i love how you love gymnastics.

i remember when it was so popular to watch because of Mag 7. i haven't watched since that time ... can't believe it.

i also remember when i was so into ice skating, having watched that in forever too!

Melissa said...

We are taking the whole family to London for the Olympics next month so I really enjoyed reading this! Hopefully we will get to see some gymnastics but I'm not sure yet. The tickets for each event are SO expensive!

CeCe @Frugalista Married said...

You cannot even begin to understand the level of my envy!! That is awesome. That would be a dream for me some day. I don't know what the rules are but if you are able to get even one pic inside that gymnastics arena I'd love to see it.

CeCe @Frugalista Married said...

Well, make sure you tune into gymnastics this time. It's always one of the most popular olympic sports.

Mrs. Pancakes said...

i was a little bummed when i heard SJ was retiring...gymnastics is one of the things i love to watch during the olympics....i love your passion for the sport!

LWLH said...

Gymnastics is one of the few events I watch during ther Olympics and for it to get cut so much is a huge bummer. So many girls working so hard and the odds aren't in their favor.

CeCe @Frugalista Married said...

I know, her knee just couldn't recover enough. It's very sad but she had an awesome career.

CeCe @Frugalista Married said...

I know. It takes so much desire and discipline to keep working so hard for something that you pretty much know that odds are very slim that you will ever get it.

Yasi said...

I love gymnastics in the olympics! Those girls are incredible!!

Yasi @ Hello, Gorgeous!

Janna Bogert said...

I have always been fascinated by gymnasts! They are sooo strong, but graceful and agile. I need to remember to watch!