Countdown to RIO!

It’s an exciting time in the gymnastics world right now with the RIO Olympics right around the corner.  This weekend is the US Classic Competition, which is the last chance for athletes hoping to qualify for Nationals this summer.  Lets take a moment to look at how an athlete gains one of the 5 spots available on this years olympic team.

Step 1:  Qualifying to the “US Classic” or “American Classic” Competitions as a Senior Elite Athlete.

Athletes must be a minimum of 16 years old as of December 31st, 2016, in order to qualify as a Senior.  They can qualify to either of these competitions by achieving a compulsory (every athlete performs the same routine in compulsories) score of 35 or higher, and an Optional (Athletes make up their own routines) score of 53 or higher.  They can also qualify through routine verification at a national team camp at “The Ranch”.

*more on scoring and “The Ranch” in a later blog.

Step 2:  Qualifying to P&G National Gymnastics Championships.

To qualify to Nationals, athlete must achieve an Optional score of 54 or higher at any of the following:

  • US Classic competition
  • American Classic competition
  • Verification at “The Ranch”
  • Any International assignment where they compete for Team USA.

Step 3:  Qualifying to the Olympic Trials

The top 8 finishers at the P&G National Championships qualify to the Olympic Trials.  Additional athletes may be added to the Trials if the Olympic Team selection committee feels they can be competitive for a spot on the Olympic Team.

Step 4:  Win the Olympic Trials.

The winner of the Olympic Trials is guaranteed a spot on the Olympic Team.

Step 5:  Olympic Selection Committee

The remaining 4 spots on the Team will be decided by the selection committee based on the athletes performance at competitions and national team training camps throughout the selection process.  A combination of All Around Athletes (Athletes that compete on all 4 events) and Event specialists (athletes that may only compete on 1 or 2 events) will be selected in order to give the US the best chance of winning both Team and Individual medals at the Olympics.

Well, I hope that helps everyone understand how the process works.  I’ll be back with more on the RIO OLYMPICS in later blogs.

Check out the action this Saturday at the US Classic by following this link:

See you next time,

Chris Zimmerman



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