ST. LOUIS, Mo. — The roster of gymnasts representing the U.S. at the Tokyo Olympics was solidified over the weekend.
U.S. women’s team
To nobody’s surprise, Simone Biles easily earned her spot on the 2021 U.S. women’s Olympic gymnastics team. At 24 years old, she has earned her nickname “the GOAT,” or greatest of all time. This will be her second Olympics after earning four gold medals and a bronze in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
At the U.S. Olympics Team Trials held in St. Louis over the past few days, Biles earned one of two automatics spots on the four-woman U.S. team. Her two-day total was 118.098.
The other gymnast to earn an automatic spot on the team was Sunisa Lee, who finished second at the trials, with top scores on the balance beam and uneven bars. At 18 years old, she’s the youngest competitor on this year’s Olympic team.
Joining the top two finishers are Jordan Chiles and Grace McCallum.
Chiles came to the trials as pretty much a sure thing for Tokyo, according to Team USA. The 20-year-old has hit every one of her routines this year without a major mistake. Neither Biles nor Lee can say that. The Olympics will be her first major international competition, but Team USA says Chiles could contend for event finals on floor and beam.
As for McCallum, she was one in what appeared to be a crowded field competing for the fourth and final spot on the team, but she pulled it off. Team USA says the 18-year-old is one of the most experienced gymnasts in the cohort, having been part of the world-title-winning U.S. teams in 2018 and 2019. At trials, she earned a top-five spot on bars, beam, and floor. She’s best known for her work on the balance beam.
In addition to the four team members, gymnasts Jade Carey and MyKayla Skinner qualified for Tokyo as individuals.
U.S. men’s team
Although the women’s gymnastics team often grabs the spotlight at the Olympics, the men’s team is also formidable.
Brody Malone came out on top at the U.S. Olympics Team Trials. With a two-day total of 171.600, he earned an automatic spot on the team. The 21-year-old is an established star on the collegiate level, having won the past two NCAA all-around titles for Stanford. Team USA says Malone is set to be the country’s top contender for the all-around finals and a possible event finalist on high bar, vault, or still rings.
Yul Moldauer earned the other automatic spot on the team when he finished as runner-up at the trials. The 24-year-old is expected to make an impact across the board in Tokyo. Team USA says he could possibly contribute as many as five routines in the team finals. Individually, his best shot to get back on the podium is on floor exercise.
Fans who watched the last couple of Olympics may recognize one of the men who earned a spot on this year’s team – Sam Mikulak. He’s back for his third Olympics. The 28-year-old remains an irreplaceable member of the team thanks to his floor and high bar scores, Team USA says.
The final member of the four-person team is Shane Wiskus. The 22-year-old finished third at trials and has a chance to make an impact across multiple events for Team USA. The gymnast first caught the national spotlights a few years ago when he avoided falling off a high bar with a one-handed catch at the U.S. Championships.
In addition to the team, Alec Yoder was named to the Tokyo squad as the “plus-one” selection. That means he’ll compete at the Olympics as an individual with his scores not counting to the team.
The Olympic Games are set to kick off in Tokyo on July 23 and last through Aug. 8 after being postponed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.