Four years ago a petite, timid Gabby Douglas was the star of the summer Olympics, capturing the all-around gold medal in London. Douglas, 20, would like to be the first gymnast to successfully defend the gymnastics all-around title at the Olympic Games, but standing her way is her teammate Simone Biles.
Biles, 19 and just 4’, 8”, is the most decorated elite gymnast in American history. She has amassed three world gymnastics all-around titles and 14 world-championship medals in just three years. Biles finished 1st in the Olympic Trials. After falling off the beam on two occasions, Douglas finished 7th and only a decision by the team coaches secured her a place on the five-woman team.
Look for both to light up the stadium. However, barring any major fumbles, Biles will take home the Gold overall, ending Douglas’ dream of a repeat.
On the men’s team, Donnell John Orozco made the team but withdrew days later after injuring his left knee on a horizontal bar dismount at the men’s training camp. He was diagnosed with a torn ACL and meniscus, the repeat of an October 2012 injury. This would have been Orozco’s second Olympics.
After finishing fifth in the Olympic trials Donnell Whittenburg,21, was not selected for the five-man team. Instead, he was picked as one of three “replacement athletes” or alternates. Alternate Dannell Leyva was been named to replace Orozco.
“I’m planning to keep training for 2020, so I’m not going to stay out of it yet,” Whittenburg said. “Just going to keep going and see what happens.”