After the grueling Olympic trials held over the weekend, 5 contestants have been chosen. The US Gymnastics team heading to Rio this year is arguably the strongest group from America to ever go to the Olympics.
The team includes returning medalists Gabby Douglas and Ali Raisman, who were members of the “fierce five” that took home the gold in 2012. Raisman was the most decorated U.S. gymnast at the 2012 London Olympics, bringing home three medals. Douglas also made history in London after being the first U.S. athlete to win both team and all-around gold.
The team will also include Simone Biles, a three-time all around world champion, and currently the most decorated U.S. gymnast. Biles will be making her Olympic debut in Rio, and is heavily favored to win the all-around competition.
Laurie Hernandez, age 16, finished second only to Biles in the tryouts, and was only 12 years old when she watched Douglas and Raisman compete in London on TV. When she was interviewed by Today, she had this to say:
“It’s crazy to look back and see that I was fan-girling over like these amazing superstars back then… And now we can all be together on a team.”
Madison Kocian, the final member of the team, is set to bowl over the competition as an uneven bars specialist. The team overall is a mixture of new and old blood, with incredible talent and flexibility across several events. Johnette Howard stated in and article for ESPN that, “If Biles and the U.S. don’t win it all, it will be a shock.”
After selection, the emotions in the room were reportedly overwhelming, but overall a sense of excitement reigned. Douglass told TODAY in an interview,
“We’re going to go to Rio and just dominate.”
Watch Simone Biles’ incredible performance on the Beam as part of the 2016 trials below: