Tuesday, May 29, 2012

5 Feasible US Olympic Teams

In my mind, there are 15 girls who have any kind of shot of being on this 8 person Olympic Squad.

In my opinion, Jordyn Wieber, Aly Raisman & Gabrielle Douglas have the greatest shot  based on past results. Sarah Finnegan, McKayla Maroney and Kyla Ross all have legitimate shots at making the team, but could perhaps be left off completely. Meanwhile veterans Nastia Liukin, Becca Bross, Anna Li and Alicia Sacramone who have each had issues with injuries and consistency, may be saved by their high start values. Shawn Johnson could also fall in this category but without seeing routines this year, I'm not sure. Personally, I think that this will more than likely be a team of first time Olympians.

And then we have the girls most likely to be alternates, but who are unlikely to make the team. The "Corrie Lothrops" of 2012. Kennedy Baker, Elizabeth Price, Sabrina Vega and Brandie Jay fall here. (And possibly Brenna Dowell, if she can come back from her hand injury.) And I think they're all wonderful. May beautiful college careers be ahead of you.

In my personal opinion, these are the five most feasible teams:

1. The Post-Pac Rims
Property of AP
Jordyn Wieber (AA)
Aly Raisman (BB, FX)
Gabby Douglas (UB, FX)
Kyla Ross (VT, UB, BB)
McKayla Maroney (VT)
Alternates:  Sarah Finnegan, Sabrina Vega, Shawn Johnson

This was the team that I posted about a while back. Although I understand how many people believe that Maroney doesn't fit into the team that well, I do feel really strongly that she deserves to defend her title. I also just noticed, this team has FIVE AMANARS! WOW!

Stefan Wurzer
2. The Post-Classics
Jordyn Wieber (AA)
Aly Raisman (VT, BB, FX)
Gabby Douglas (UB)
Kyla Ross (VT, UB)
Sarah Finnegan (BB, FX)
Alternates: McKayla Maroney, Kennedy Baker, Elizabeth Price

After watching the competition on Saturday, this is my team for the moment. It gives lots of options as Gabby could potentially go up on Vault, Beam or Floor, Kyla could go up Beam and Sarah could (not ideally) go up on bars. It's a team that plans for an injury and it's a team with pretty, solid gymnastics. And don't hate on my alternates or I will cut you.

Harry Howe
3. The Reader's Choice 
Jordyn Wieber (AA)
Aly Raisman (VT, BB, FX)
McKayla Maroney (VT)
Nastia Liukin (UB)
Kyla Ross (UB, BB, FX)
Alternates: Shawn Johnson, Sabrina Vega, Gabrielle Douglas

This particular team was named 5 times in the prediction contest back in December, and actually is a pretty strong team when you think about it. The alternates for the team were the most popular alternates not named to the team. I could perhaps see this team being named if Gabby ends up underperforming and Nastia over performs. It does leave a floor hole though and I don't like the idea of have to put Kyla or Maroney up on floor.

Associated Press
4. The Gabby-less
Jordyn Wieber (AA)
Aly Raisman (VT, BB, FX)
Nastia Liukin OR Rebecca Bross (UB)
Kyla Ross (VT, UB)
Sarah Finnegan (BB, FX)
Alternates: Sabrina Vega, Elizabeth Price, Kennedy Baker

Yes, I know that the last one didn't have Gabby in it, but here's how I would do it. The Bars specialist could go to either Nastia or Becca, depending on who performs more impressively (and if Nastia legitimately gets her bars back). This would be my team if Gabrielle Douglas broke her leg or if she falls apart as time goes on. I don't think she will... but here's my plan in case it does.

5. The Aly-less

Property of GK
Jordyn Wieber (AA)
Gabby Douglas (UB, FX)
Kyla Ross (VT, UB, BB)
Sarah Finneagn (BB, FX)
McKayla Maroney (VT)
Alternates: Sabrina Vega, Elizabeth Price, Kennedy Baker

Along the same lines of the last team, this is who I would put on the team if Aly ended up injured, inconsistent or Canadian. It's nice that we're in a year where one routine could make or break (pun not intended) your team. Sure, Aly's floor scores are much better than Gabby's, but it wouldn't be catastrophic to have Gabby's in the line up.

Associated Press
(And a bonus team...)
6. The Jordyn-less
Aly Raisman (VT, BB, FX)
Gabby Douglas (VT, UB, FX)
Kyla Ross (VT, UB, BB)
Sarah Finnegan (BB, FX)
Nastia Liukin OR Rebecca Bross (UB)
Alternates: Sabrina Vega, McKayla Maroney, Elizabeth Price

I know, I know. I can hear you screaming from here. A team without Jordyn wouldn't be a good thing at all. However, in this day and age, anything can happen. Here's what I'd do in the off chance that Jordyn fell apart. (I don't mean emotionally like I did with Gabby. I mean what I'd do if her limbs literally started falling off.)

I don't see these as the only possibly teams, but in my opinion they are the most likely of the bunch. Who would be your team?


  1. My current team is the team listed in number 1.. I desperately want ASac on the team, although there isn't really room for her although didn't she win beam at Nationals last year? I just want that girl to have an individual Olympic medal after all shes done.. But at the same time Maroney should be allowed to go considering shes a world champion on that event.

    Seriously think that should be a thing: medalists on all three events get automatic qualification and if they aren't placed on a team then they can go individually; they won't be allowed to compete in team finals and their score won't be allowed to count towards the team score in qualification either.. Best of both worlds?

    1. *four events.. duh, mustve been thinking about 3 medals..

    2. Definitely like that idea!

    3. Maroney vs. ASac is an interesting picture. Maroney hasn't proven she's capable/consistent on anything but vault. At least Alicia has beam. Marta made the point that one event does not make this Olympic team. It will be very interesting to see what Alicia's rudi looks like come nationals/trials. Honestly though, with everyone and their mother having an Amanar there might not be room on this team for either of them.

    4. Re. world medalists automatically qualifying to the Olympics, team affiliation notwithstanding- Yes. Please. I've been thinking about the possibilities there myself over the last few weeks.

  2. Jordyn Wieber, Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman, Nastia Liukin, Kyla Ross.

    Vault: Wieber, Raisman, Ross/Douglas
    Uneven Bars: Liukin, Douglas, Wieber/Ross
    Balance Beam: Raisman, Wieber, Liukin
    Floor: Raisman, Wieber, Douglas/Ross

    Kyla Ross can be replaced by: Anna Li (UB) or McKayla Maroney (V, FX?)

    If my original team goes through, the alternates would be Finnegan, Maroney, and Baker/Price.

    1. Ross can also be replaced by Finnegan (FX)

    2. I really hope your order is reverse of how they would be competing...

    3. I agree with this team 100%

  3. ummm Bridget Sloan? If she has upgrades, she will be in the perfect position to claim an UB/FX spot.

  4. I have been keeping track of US scores from all of the 2012 elite meets and have been doing averages for each event. Based on these averages, I have all of the teams listed coming in first at the last world championships. Interestingly enough, team 1 gets a 182.286 but the next team was team 5, Aly-less getting a 182.153. Then was team 2 with 181.884, team 3 with 181.267, team 4 with 181.013, then team 6 (obviously) with 180.9305

  5. Oooo, these are all fantastic teams! So far this is the team I'm predicting...though it really is too soon to tell!

    Team USA: Nastia, McKayla, Aly, Kyla, Jordyn
    Alternates: Rebecca, Gaby, Alicia

    V: McKayla, Kyla, Jordyn
    UB: Nastia, Kyla, Jordyn
    BB: Aly, Nastia OR Kyla, Jordyn
    F: McKayla OR Kyla, Aly, Jordyn

  6. Jordan all around
    Ali vault, beam, floor
    Gabby bars and floor
    Mckayla vault
    Nastia beam and bars
    Alternates Kyla (who could really fill in anywhere) and Sabrina (or maybe Shawn if she is really back together)

    I can't imagine they would consider not taking Gabby on bars or McKayla for vault since they are potential metalists on those events.

    Nastia D score 4 years ago was way over 7, if she is anywhere near that now they will never leave her home....
    And her beam was admittedly off on connections....so her D score will go up too as compared to Jordan and Ali who both had beams about as good as they can do at the classic.

  7. I would love it if the team would be:

    McKayla(VT, FXorBB if needed)

    alternates: Gabby, Sabrina, and Becca
    my reason for picking Sarah over Gabby is because she has been way more consistent in my opinion even though her bar routine is amazing, it was a really tough choice. she just seems like she could "snap" mentally if you know what i mean at any moment. i love mckayla but i really only chose her because theres a huge chance she'll medal on vault and her amanar scores so much higher than jordyns and alys so its really useful. i wasn't sure if i wanted to put kyla or aly on vault because they have both had a few rough amanars but i'm sure aly can clean hers up and score close to 16, after seeing kylas vault at the classic it kind of scared me because something like that could easily happen again. mckaylas able to do a solid floor and beam routine if it ever came down to something like that. in my opinion jordyn and aly are locks as of right now the rest of the girls could easily be replaced if they have one little mess up. i think no matter what the team is they have a huge chance of coming out with gold.

    this is totally irrelevant but why does valeri let becca do her patterson dismount on beam still? i've seen her stand it up maybe twice...its very scary and it seems like it could aggrevate her knee, i can't watch becca anymore its so scary she seems so mentally weak and tired all of the time. 2010 becca was amazing

  8. if nastia makes the team i will SCREAM and rip my hair out. team one is what will most likely happen, but i wouldn't at all mind team 5. a team without aly's fugnastics and with sarah's nice, pretty gymnastics would be a great team. also, bekah, for each of these teams, who would you have as the two aa's in prelims?

  9. After classics I'm going with the same line up as worlds but replace vega with Kyla. I have to accept Aly will be on the team and Shawn and Bross won't be ready.

  10. Loving the posters who are saying more or less, "Well, I guess we do want a team gold medal so we'll have to take Aly, darn it, but I sure would prefer someone like Sarah, cuz she points her toes and reminds me of my cute cabbage patch doll."

  11. seems that almost everyone agrees that Jordyn, Aly and Gabby are essentially locks for making the team! But after Classics, I think it now glaringly obvious that Team USA has some deficits on Uneven Bars... We can expect the Russians to put up 15.3-16.0 scores on UB so, the US needs to maximize the advantage we have on Vault. Wieber remains to be so inconsistent on bars, Raisman, Douglas and Ross have not mastered the Amanar yet. Everytime JOrdyn messes up on bars, that's good news to Nastia/Rebecca. Everytime Gabby, Raisman, Ross screws up their VT, that's good news for Mckayla

  12. my ideal team
    VT: Wieber Douglas/Raisman/Ross/ maybe Finnegan if she does her amanar
    UB: Wieber, Ross, Douglas
    BB: Wieber, Ross, Finnegan <3
    FX; Wieber, Raisman, Finnegan.
    alternates: Liukin/ Bross, Vega, Price
    if sth happens to Gabby (please no) Liukin/Bross wil do UB
    if sth happens to Wieber, Liuin/Bross on UB, Raisman/Ross on BB, Douglas on FX (or maybe Price?)
    if sth happens to Aly, Ross BB, Douglas (or maybe Price) FX
    if sth happens to Sarah (plese no) Raisman/Ross on BB, Douglas on FX
    Vault is covered anyway, it's so f*** hard to leave Maroney out of the team but....

  13. My Team is
    Locks: Aly, Gabby, Jordyn
    Maybes: Nastia/Bross, and Mckayla

    I am so hoping Bross can get it together I just love her and I am so proud that she still does everything she can to get on the team. I hope she makes it. But if she doesnt I guess Nastia will be right there.
    I think Sloan could surprise everyone and snatch the Ub Spot from Nastia/Bross.
    I am in love with Shawn too, but I guess I gotta accept that she wont compete again.
    So yeah that would be my team

  14. Sloan at her best has a SV on bars between 6.1-6.3! Nastia at her worst has SV of 6.6. That's just her basic skills... her pirouettes in combos together with the Geinger, gives her 0.6 in combination bonus. She need not do anything else. As we have seen from PT videos, she has ALL her skills back, except for the dismount! Although she didn't do a full routine, she trained each skill! It's all a matter of putting the routine together! Right now, the most conservative assessment of her bars routine is 6.6, however, some insiders have said that she's capable of a 7.1, especially if she can do an inbar 1/2 connected to an endo 1/1 plus her pirouettes and geinger. Essentially, all Nastia has to do is do her bars routine from Beijing and she can challenge for the bars/ beam specialist spot!

  15. USA is really super deep, the only country who can afford loosing their star. If Russia lost Komova/Mustafina right now they'd be in trouble, if China lost Yao or Romania lost Iordache they'd be totally screwed. Without Wieber USA would still be fine. That's a good thing considering their injure history. I hope there will be no broken loegs in our way to trials though

  16. Do you know how gymnastics is supposed to be? The way Sarah Finnegan does it, beauty, style, artistry, great form and toe point and HUGE skills.
    I know for sure she's on my team

  17. Bekah I'm so surprised that not one of your teams has Liukin competing on beam. I know there are lots of Nastia haters, but you just can't discount experience, her "look", and of course her credential of Reigning Olympic Champion. While her beam at Classics wasn't perfect, it really has potential of being great this summer. The sub-par leaps are going to only get better as they really were just tentative due to nerves. This routine could bring in a good score on the international stage. Not to mention her bars (which you did include)...

  18. I wonder why they lowered the number to five. There is so much talent and so few spots! The trials (and possibly nationals) are going to be a bloodbath.

    1. To give chance to gymnasts from other non-traditional gymnastics countries to participate. The same reason why FIG reduced the number of AA gymnasts from 1 country who can qualify to the AA final from 3 to 2.

    2. Interesting. Thanks for letting me know!

  19. I just can't go with any team that requires Gabby to do vault or beam, or any team that requires Kyla to do vault. I'd prefer to keep Gabby off floor as well, frankly. I trust Gabby on bars, but I really do view her as a one-event gymnast. Not based on talent -- it's clear that when she hits, she's one of the best in this country. But she struggles to hit in competition.

    My issue with Team 2 is vault. I don't think Gabby has shown she actually "has" an Amanar. She may be able to throw it in the gym, but I wouldn't trust it for Olympic team finals. Kyla's Amanar is scary. Not just because she's done that hop off to the side twice and it's affected her score ... but because it looks like the type of Amanar that can easily lead to injury.

    We're not going to win in London on the bars, even if we take our best. We have to be far enough ahead after vault that we can simply survive bars. For that reason, my team is currently: Weiber, Raisman, Liukin or Douglas, Ross, and Maroney.

    VT: Raisman, Weiber, Maroney
    UB: Weiber, Ross, Luikin/Douglas
    BB: Liukin/Ross, Raisman, Weiber
    FX: Ross, Weiber, Raisman

    1. maroney's d score on floor is around 6 tenths higher than ross. ross will NOT be used on floor in TF under any circumstance. she will make the team for UB/BB and maybe VT if she cleans it up and outscores raisman.

  20. Gabby struggles to hit besides bars, I would be reluctant for her to do other events. Maroney's vault is valuable in TF besides being a sure thing for EF gold. She can be strong on floor and has probably licked the Jesolo routine into shape, looking forward to seeing it. A team that leaves her behind is a travesty in my opinion. Her beam looks very solid too.

    Ross's amanar looks dangerous and her SV is very low on floor and not that high on beam. I am just waiting for her to injure herself on that vault, she looks like she could fall on it altogether- too risky I think. Sarah Finnegan does not have great bars like Ross, but her SV is so much higher and her floor will score well abroad. I know Ross has far more experience but I think she could well be the big loser of a 5-person team when the advantage she has on bars is more than made up elsewhere.

    UB- Douglas, Finnegan, Wieber (yes, a weak spot.)
    FX- Raisman, Wieber, Finnegan
    VT- Maroney, Wieber, Raisman
    BB- Wieber, Raisman, Finnegan
    alt: Liukin, Ross, Price

    Very very strong on beam, floor and vault WILL make up the bars deficit. Maroney can be used on floor or beam if needed in case of injury. So could Douglas. Ross as alternate can take Finnegan's place if needed. Liukin can be used for bars and beam and Price can be used on all events.

    I reckon this is what they're considering almost exactly, though debating over Ross/Finnegan. Ross's strength as an all-arounder and greatness on bars are I think not enough when you contend with Finnegan's much higher floor and beam. Ross has the potential to totally crash and injure herself on that amanar too.

  21. Martha will not allow this... She has mentioned in the past the she might take a maximum of 3-4 AA and 1-2 bar workers... Whether Gabby is categorized as an AA or Bars specialists depends on what kind of Gabby arrives at the competition floor... As long as Wieber continues to mess up on that bars set of hers, that's good news to Liukin and Bross and Ross too. I don't see Martha sending a team that is weak on bars! I think she has learned the lesson of Beijing. Regardless whether Alicia fell or not, the US wouldn't have overcome the deficit on bars. The US ended up losing by 2.5 points (Alicia's falls are worth 0.8 each and 0.4 in difficulty). In order to consolidate our advantage on VT, the US should and must not give away so much points to the Russians on Bars...
    Let's compare the US on VT/ UB with the Russians:
    VT: (This is assuming that the Russians don't have Amanars)
    Maroney 16.033 Mustafina: 15.1
    Wieber 15.85n Komova: 15.0
    Raisman: 15.5 Afan: 14.9
    Advantage US: 2.383

    Douglas: 15.7 Mustafina: 16
    Wieber: 14.8 Komova: 15.8
    Finnegan: 14.1 Grishina: 15.5
    Advantage Russia: 2.7

    Balance Beam and FX are an entirely different story! But the US will feel more comfortable going into those events with a buffer over the Russians!

  22. I don't see how to rectify the bars situation without damaging elsewhere on a 5 person team, that's the problem. Liukin, Bross, Ross, Li and Douglas have strong bars. I really do not see Bross on the team, she has so many leg seperations and she can't do beam or anything else, whereas Douglas, Liukin and Ross can. Same issue with Li unfortunately, great bars, unreliable elsewhere. Using Ross instead of Finnegan means vault remains the same and bars is higher, but floor and beam will suffer since Ross or Maroney will have to be used and they score much lower on both than Finnegan could.

    Or you could get rid of Raisman and then have Finnegan and Ross, so higher floor and beam than Ross but still keeping the higher bars and still having enough amanars. However it seems tough to justify leaving such a consistent gymnast at home with high beam and floor scores.

    Or have a Liukin/Maroney combination covering all four, then Wieber, Douglas and Raisman or Ross or Finnegan. It just seems odd to concentrate so much on bars. I know it won't be enough Vs Russia on bars and vault, but when you factor in the other two it is. Russia has gotten weaker on both floor and beam, and that will help.

  23. I know that the four girls who I most want to see on the team are Jordan, McKayla, Gabby and Nastia. The fifth spot could either be Aly, Kyla, or Sarah. Jordan and Gabby could be solid all-arounders, and any of the three could be in there. Aly is very likely to make the team, but she isn't much of a bars worker. Kyla has bars, but she's inexperienced and I don't know about her consistency. Sarah isn't as great at bars either, but she's got higher start values on beam and floor. I also think that taking out Nastia and having any two of the other three would work, but I can't help but want her to be on the team. If Maroney can manage to do another solid event, she would definitely win the vault medal. I want to see that really badly, but Marta is unlikely to take her as a one event specialist so I am just praying she can get beam.

  24. The problem with Gabby is that she's not solid. She CAN hit all events, but she isn't consistent except on bars. Beam and vault in particular are inconsistent and her floor is quite scrappy- not well choreographed or very high scoring. Aly is far more consistent,even with weak bars you can rely on her for everything else. I don't think taking Gabby and Nastia is very fair, as it means missing out on a consistent all arounder like Sarah or Kyla. It would be different if Nastia could do the AA. I think it comes down to one space between Gabby and Nastia, one between Kyla and Sarah and Jordyn, Aly and McKayla being locks. McKayla has exceptional vaulting, she can get floor to a decent standard I would say but if you take Jordyn, Raisman, her, Sarah and Nastia/Gabby then McKayla isn't actually needed on floor or beam. It just means weak bars but that is always going to be the case end of, unless floor or beam are sacrificed.

  25. Here is my thought... This team is designed to have the highest standing after prelims and get the most number of medals possible.
    In prelims:
    3 all-arounders: I am seeing Wieber, Douglas, and Johnson (or possibly Raisman). Forgive me, but I'm just not a Raisman fan.
    A beam-bars specialist: My original name for this spot had been Chellsie, but without her in the mix I'm seeing Liukin or Bross as the most likely contenders.
    A vault-floor specialist: I actually like Sacramone for this, but other possibilities include Raisman or Maroney (although if Maroney winds up here, it might actually be a better idea to have our bars-beam girl do floor.)

    In team finals:
    Vault: Wieber, Douglas, specialist
    Bars: Johnson, Douglas, specialist (Note: If Raisman takes Johnson's spot, lineup is Wieber, Douglas, specialist.)
    Beam: Wieber, specialist, Johnson
    Floor: Johnson or Douglas, Wieber, speciaist- Lead-off on floor would be based on performance in camp since Shawn's been out of competition for a while.

    All-around finals: 2 of the 3 would make it. I think Wieber and Douglas have the best shots at the podium, in that order.

    Event finals: (I think the people I list have a shot at medaling)
    Vault: Our specialist, especially if it's ASac
    Bars: Gabby, maybe specialist
    Beam: Specialist if it's Nastia, SHAWN JOHNSON
    Floor: Specialist, Raisman no matter what capacity she's there in.
    The only hole this group has a potential to have is on floor, if Maroney is chosen over Sacramone or Raisman. One note I must make is that I really don't think Marta will take more than two returning Olympians, which means one of the 3 left in serious contention will probably be cut. Which would be best? I really don't know.

    1. Note: Team finals night, if Raisman is there instead of Johnson, floor order is Wieber, Specialist, Raisman.

  26. Here's what I think...
    these girls are the best on these events, it descends btw
    VT: McKayla, Jordyn, Aly
    UB: Gabby, Kyla, Rebecca (Nastia/Anna...won't truly know until Nationals)
    BB: Jordyn, Aly, Kyla (Rebecca if perfected, Shawn we'll see at Nationals)
    FX: Aly, Jordyn, Kyla (Shawn, we'll see at Nationals)

    VT Scores: 16.2s - 15.7s
    UB Scores: 15.6s - 15.0s
    BB Scores: 15.5s - 15.2s
    FX Scores: 15.4s - 15.0s (these scores are what they COULD score. they follow the same order as the first list)

    SECOND PART - If all goes well...MY TEAM!
    VT: Jordyn, Aly, Kyla/Gabby
    UB: Gabby, Kyla, Shawn (she's consistent and could muster a 6.5 SV)
    BB: Jordyn, Aly, Kyla (possibly Shawn...)
    FX: Aly, Jordyn, Shawn (this is why Shawn gets my vote; I'm not even her biggest fan, but she has the potential to have a floor to be in the top 3...seriously. No one else can do that!)

    **I love Nastia, but even if she has a crazy bar routine, it's not that much...
    *Even if McKayla got a crazy floor, we'd then have to rely on Jordyn on bars during TF...I don't think we should resort to that.

  27. I made my first team prediction on New Years Day, and it was your first team, only with Bross instead of Douglas. Since then I feel that Douglas is a much better option! However, the other likely option I am coming to see would be three AA (probably Wieber, Raisman, Ross) and then two bar specialists (Douglas, Liukin).

    For the first team, I would have
    VT: Ross, Wieber, Maroney
    UB: Wieber, Ross, Douglas
    BB: Ross, Wieber, Raisman
    FX: Maroney, Wieber, Raisman

    Second team would be
    VT: Ross, Raisman, Wieber
    UB: Ross, Douglas, Liukin
    BB: Ross, Wieber, Raisman
    FX: Douglas, Wieber, Raisman

    I don't love having Gabby on floor, but that tends to be a lower-scoring event for all countries. This team keeps the majority of the vaulting power and ups the performance on bars. I do hate leaving Maroney off, though...

  28. I really dislike the fact that most 'fans' don't see Sarah Finnegan as a serious contender for the Olympics :(

    She puts the ARTISTRY back into ARTISTIC gymnastics, something USA has lacked in recent years!

    MY TEAM (Qualifications in Brackets)

    VT Wieber, Raisman, Ross (Douglas)
    UB Douglas, Ross, Wieber (Raisman/Finnegan)
    BB Wieber, Raisman, Finnegan (Ross)
    FX Raisman, Finnegan, Weiber (Douglas)

    This team has 4 or 5 amanars so no vault specialist will be needed

    If Wieber fails to hit her bars sets at VISAs Liukin or Bross could be switched for either Ross or Finnegan

  29. I think Alicia's mother looked ridiculous with Alicia's medals on her - like SHE won them. She has been the so-called push gym mom yet!