Your 2016 Olympic Gymnastics Cheat Sheet

Your 2016 Olympic Gymnastics Cheat Sheet

Pictures (clockwise from prime left): @oksana2016; @simonebiles; @usagym; @ellemalaysia

Gymnastics has been the must-watch Summer season Olympics occasion, ever since 1996, when the “Magnificent Seven” blazed the path for a girls’s crew gold. In any case, who can overlook Kerri Strug’s epically badass vault? Or the beloved “Fierce 5,” who edged out Russia by greater than 5 factors in London in 2012?

Crew USA gained’t be the one stars of this 12 months’s tumbling present, although. Moreover Simone Biles’ jaw-dropping performances, you possibly can count on to marvel at a 40-something competitor (unparalleled in a sport the place 22-year-olds like Aly Reisman are nicknamed “grandma”). And let’s not low cost the primary Indian gymnast to aim to stay a killer vault, or Japan’s prime male contender, Kohei Uchimura, vying for a “biggest of all time” title. Right here’s what it’s essential know to look at the high-flying motion like a professional.

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Team USA Women's Gymnastics

Photograph: @lauriehernandez_

1. The Fittest 5
Speak about #SquadGoals. “Our [women’s] crew is really sturdy in each side of the game — it’s one of many strongest groups we’ve ever had,” says Shawn Johnson, a gold medal gymnast who competed within the 2008 Beijing Video games.

Two veteran Olympians will return to the mat: Gabby Douglas (who took house the all-around gold on the 2012 Video games, and was the primary African-American to take action) and Aly Reisman (crew captain who gained gold in ground and bronze in steadiness beam in London).

The opposite three faces could also be new to the Video games, however they’re actually not new to the rostrum. Simone Biles has earned 10 golds, two silvers and two bronzes on the World Championships from 2013 to 2015. Laurie Hernandez gained the all-around title on the U.S. Junior Championships and Worldwide Junior Japan Meet, in addition to bronze in all-around, uneven bars, steadiness beam and ground on the 2016 P&G Championships. And Madison Kocian gained the gold in uneven bars on the 2015 Worlds.

Along with their stellar stats, Crew USA’s personalities and distinctive routines simply would possibly deliver down the home. “The custom of the game has at all times been sort of one model of athlete,” says Johnson. “And now we permit so many several types of women and types of gymnasts, which is actually cool to see.”

Simone Biles

Photograph: @usagym

2. Simone Biles, Lady on Fireplace
It’s powerful to speak in regards to the prowess of this 12 months’s crew with out giving a particular shout-out to Simone Biles, who’s making her Olympic debut at age 19. The powerhouse has already shattered information as the primary girl to attain three consecutive world championships, and the primary girl in additional than 40 years to win the nationwide championship 4 years in a row. Should you’re questioning the place Biles has been all this time, she was one 12 months shy of being eligible for the 2012 London Olympics. “She’s principally undefeated,” says Johnson. That’s exactly why individuals dub her because the greastest gymnast of all time.

Ever for the reason that scoring system for gymnastics modified a decade in the past, permitting athletes to attain extra factors based mostly on their degree of problem (meaning no extra good 10’s), rivals have upped the ante on their methods. And Biles places all of her playing cards on the desk. Even when she wobbles or falls, she will rating increased than somebody who nailed a close to good, however much less superior talent.

RELATED: Shalane Flanagan and Amy Cragg Run for Gold

Team USA Men's Gymnastics

Photograph: @jake_dalton

3. Let’s Hear It for the Boys
To say the boys’s crew is extra decided than ever could be an understatement. In any case, greater than half of them competed in London, the place they disappointingly missed the rostrum. Now, they’re again with a vengeance.

Amongst them: Sam Mikulak, who gained all-around gold on the 2015 Pan American Video games. (He’s nonetheless striving for his first Olympic medal, although.) Jake Dalton additionally returns for spherical two, together with his eyes set on ground train and vault. Two different crew members, Alex Naddour, 25, and Chris Brooks, 29, have been on the London Video games, however as alternates. They got here again stronger than ever to earn spots on the crew and now they’ll work towards a spot on the leaderboard.

The fifth Crew USA member, Danell Leyva, had a rocky begin on the street to Rio. The unique choose was John Orozco — a gymnast who overcome adversary in 2015 with the sudden dying of his mother and a second Achilles damage. Throughout pre-Olympic crew camp, Orozco tore his ACL on a dismount from the excessive bar. Now Leyva, who earned all-around bronze in 2012, has a second likelihood to earn Olympic medal quantity two.

Oksana Chusovitina

Photograph: @oksana2016

4. The 41-12 months-Previous Flyer
In a sport the place 22 is taken into account “grandma” age, competing at 41 is critically spectacular. Oksana Chusovitina of Uzbekistan, returning for her seventh Olympics, will change into the oldest feminine gymnast within the historical past of the Video games. (Enjoyable reality: She’s additionally competed for Germany and the Soviet Union.) Search for her to compete in her specialty, vault, which gained her a silver in Beijing. “I don’t assume she’ll ever retire,” her supervisor, Michael Fabig stated in an interview. Age actually is only a quantity — particularly for those who’re match to be an Olympian.

RELATED: Within the Gymnasium with Sanya Richards-Ross

Dipa Karmakar

Photograph: @ellemalaysia

5. The First Indian Feminine Gymnast
Add the Olympics to Dipa Karmakar’s checklist of limitations she’s damaged down. Along with being the primary Indian girl to compete on the Video games, the 22-year-old was additionally the primary to win a Commonwealth Video games medal (she scored bronze within the vault), and the primary to compete within the finals of the World Championships simply final 12 months. Karmakar will goal to execute one of many hardest vaults in gymnastics: The Produnova, named after a Russian gymnast. Solely 5 different athletes have completed it. Additionally identified frighteningly as “the vault of dying,” it entails rebounding off the equipment and doing two full entrance somersaults, earlier than touchdown in your ft. The rationale it’s so harmful? It’s really easy to not full the second rotation and land with full body weight in your neck. We’ll be watching with clenched fists.

Kohei Uchimura and Simone Biles

Photograph: @simonebiles

6. A Male Equal to the GOAT
We informed you Simone Biles is perhaps the best gymnast of all time. Nicely, on the boys’s aspect, Japan’s Kohei Uchimura is making strikes towards that title, too. The 27-year-old gained all-around silver on the 2008 Video games, however he’s dominated first-place ever since, profitable all-around gold in London and 6 World Championship titles. Consultants predict he might take house some coveted {hardware} in Rio, together with the all-around win for a second time. (Whereas Biles doesn’t have fairly as many medals handing in her room, she has a couple of years to catch up.) It’ll be a shocker if these two don’t take the highest spots.

The 2016 Olympic Gymnastics occasions will run from Saturday, August 6 to Tuesday, August 16. Watch dwell on NBC, at or by way of the NBC Sports activities app.  

Questioning what different Olympic occasions you possibly can’t miss? Take a look at the 6 causes it’s essential watch observe and subject.

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