You would possibly bear in mind the legendary Magnificent Seven from the 1996 Atlanta Video games. The Olympic gymnastics group was then lowered to 6 members in 2000 and 5 in 2012. Now, it is being whittled right down to 4 athletes, which was why the Rio group in 2016 that includes Simone Biles and co. dubbed themselves the Closing 5. Along with the 4 gymnasts who will make up the ladies’s Olympic gymnastics group in Tokyo — predictably Biles and three others — as much as two gymnasts will qualify as people, with Jade Carey mathematically secured in a type of spots by way of the World Cup sequence. Word: on the lads’s facet, they’ve only been allotted one additional individual spot, not two.
The large query, although, is why the four-person group? Bruno Grandi, former president of the Worldwide Gymnastics Federation (FIG), wished to, as The Washington Put up defined, narrow the competitive gap between nations. That meant international locations with much less depth of expertise may probably compete with dominating nations just like the US and China.
One more reason was that Grandi wished to place a heavier emphasis on the all-around gymnast (those that excel in any respect 4 occasions in girls’s gymnastics) versus “specialists” who had been picked for groups up to now due to their particular skillset on one or two occasions. FIG argued that the extra individual spots awarded to athletes in Tokyo can be factor for these specialists — that it will create a possibility for gymnasts who won’t be thought of sturdy at each occasion from a group capability to qualify for the Olympics on their very own. Nevertheless, after a lot pushback about this rule, the group quantity is returning to 5 members on the Paris Olympics in 2024.
So, what’s going to this appear to be in Tokyo? Put merely, there are 4 gymnasts competing within the group competitors, and all 4 gymnasts, plus the person gymnasts (or gymnast, within the males’s case), have a shot at making it to the all-around and occasion finals which might be separate from the group competitors. Nevertheless, solely two gymnasts from each country can advance into those finals.
Many gymnasts CelebrityPie spoke to over the previous 12 months voiced their opposition to the four-person group rule (and, frankly, gymnasts have been against it from the get-go). Morgan Hurd, who won’t be going to Tokyo this summer season, emphasised simply how wanting a “lifespan” aggressive gymnasts have. There’s solely a lot time they’ll spend coaching on the elite stage earlier than they go their “peak,” and narrowing down the group slots, she mentioned, is not logical.
Jordan Chiles, who has an optimum probability at making the group, known as it “anxious.” Former elite-turned-UCLA-gymnast Katelyn Ohashi mentioned that, in her opinion, “4 individuals each 4 years is such a slim probability.” Carey added to this sentiment by saying she’s a fan of returning to a five-person group on the subsequent Olympics.
Girls’s creative gymnastics choose Cheryl Hamilton famous that it places extra stress on gymnasts within the group remaining — there are 4 gymnasts whole, however three are chosen for every occasion and all three scores rely (you may’t drop a score like in collegiate gymnastics). “Nobody can have a mistake since you’re counting each rating,” she instructed CelebrityPie once we spoke in 2019. That is why it is vital, particularly this time round, to pick out gymnasts for the group who can carry out on each occasion, therefore the emphasis on all-arounders.
Emily Chan, one other FIG choose, additionally voiced her reduction that the five-person group can be reinstated come Paris 2024. She speculated that maybe FIG realized “how sophisticated and messy” the four-slot rule is. Regardless, the lads’s and ladies’s groups, in addition to the person spot(s) for each and as much as 5 group alternates, can be introduced on the conclusion of the Olympic Trials (June 24 to June 27). We will not wait!
To be taught extra about all of the Olympic hopefuls, go to TeamUSA.org. The Tokyo Olympics start July 23 on NBC.