Fort Worth, Texas (AP) — World and Olympic champion Simone Biles can begin preparing for Tokyo. Six-time national champion Sam Micrak.
But then, the outlook for who will create the US men’s and women’s gymnastics teams is vague at best. And athletes who are taking a new step towards that goal at this week’s US Championship know it.
“At this point, it feels like everyone’s match,” said MyKayla Skinner, 2016 Olympic representative.
It may be because there is.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the one-year postponement of the Tokyo Olympics have forced athletes heading for the summer of 2020 to readjust.
Skinner, 24, thought he would retire. Instead, she found her training at Dickies Arena on Wednesday with 24-year-old Biles and 32-year-old world champion and Olympic silver medalist Chelsea Menmel.
As Skinner said, the three “older girls” are among the 31 most women in the US Championships since 1995. Skye Blakely breaks the party. It also opened the door for Memmel to start an unexpected comeback.
Taking into account the lack of international quotas (usually a good barometer of serious Olympic candidates) over the last 16 months, the public feels much more uncertain than usual.
Skinner clearly remembers who he was playing in preparation for the 2016 Rio Olympics. The photos were crowded. 2012 Olympic champion Gabby Douglas and three-time Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman are also competing for one of the spots.
“Every workout made me feel like I want to be there. I want to be at the top. I want to be in the top four. I want to build that Olympic team,” Skinner said. “And now I feel like you are suffering from something.”
She’s not kidding. Many women who were equipment in the Olympic quad are still trying to recover their form thanks to their injuries. Skinner experienced a fight against COVID-19 and pneumonia during the winter. Sunisa Lee, a three-time World Championship medalist in 2019 and one of the best uneven bars workers on the planet, is trying to clench her teeth with ankle problems that are delaying training. .. 2017 World Champion Morgan Hurd underwent a series of surgery on his right elbow.
“It would be a little crazy to see how everything works,” Skinner said.
Last month’s US Classic was the first major tournament for most well-known Americans since before the March 2020 pandemic shutdown. Even Biles wasn’t rust-free. She was out of the bar with a floor exercise shorting her disembarkation while excavating the first Yurchenko Double Pike Vault that the woman had done in competition.
But Biles is ready for what’s waiting in Tokyo through the US Olympic Trials later this month. She can afford to slip here and there. Not many others try to join her.
“I’m nervous because I don’t know where everyone is,” Lee said. “A lot of people are injured, so it’s hard to tell who the team will be at this point. And with just a few new seniors, the choices are wide and everyone is very. It’s good, so I think it’s hard to judge.
Or, in theory, by the time Americans (the spots four team members, specialists, and Jade Carrie acquired for her success at the World Cup event) arrive in Japan in July, they’ll be. ..
The problem is pretty much the same on the boys’ side, and he thinks Micrak is the key to his third Olympics if he’s not injured. He claims he doesn’t think of it.
“I’m like getting a senior vibes in my life, everything is nostalgic and I’m just trying to be as grateful as I can,” Mikulak said. “Because I thought,’Oh, I’ll come again next year.’ I’m always looking for the next year. Now, I feel like,’Oh, there won’t be next year.'”
Yur Moldauer, 2017 National Champion and three-time World Championship team member, believes that the postponement of the Olympics has, in a sense, leveled the stadium. Everyone has somehow started over because they don’t have a credible recent history.
“It gives hope to younger players and gives them a chance to show them to older players,” said Moldauer. “It’s going to be messed up. It’s exciting. And I think it’s cool because we’re all so close.
Schedule competition with the Pan American Games Championships in Brazil this week has forced USA Gymnastics to change the selection process. In 2016, the combined results of national and trial results were used as the baseline, but only the results of the Olympic trials are considered when bringing the team together.
That means you have a chance to make a statement to men this weekend, or make a mistake. Or maybe both.
Brett McClure, U.S. high-performance director, said, “We expect players who may not have been in the game for more than a year to be a lot nervous, even with a little rust. “And roll the dice to see what happens. It’s exciting. It’s scary.”
Who is Biles?Olympic images clouded at US Championships
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