Olympic News: Team Announcements 4

The US and Italy announce their 2016 Olympic Teams.

Click on the countries to see the news. 

US Women’s Olympic Team Announcement

The long awaited US Women’s Olympic Team has finally been named! This is a team that is more difficult to make than being drafted in the NBA. The competition was fierce, and lets be honest, any of the US National Team members could win a team medal at the Olympics, however only 5 people can be named.

They are:

Simone Biles

Gabby Douglas

Laurie Hernandez

Madison Kocian

Aly Raisman

3-time All-Around World Champion, Simone Biles earned herself an automatic Olympic Berth by winning the All-Around competition at the Olympic Trials. Youngster, Laurie Hernandez finished second in the AA and earned herself a place on the elusive Olympic Team, at just 16 years of age.

Despite falling on Beam in both days of Olympic Trials, reigning Olympic All-Around Champion, Gabby Douglas has been named to her second Olympic Team. A somewhat controversial decision, however she is needed to bring in a high Bar score in Team Finals (3 up, 3 count format) 

2 time World team member, and current World Champion on Bars, Madison Kocian scored a whopping 15.900 on her pet event to seal the deal on her Olympic campaign. Look out for her as she aims to make the Bars final in Rio and come home with a medal!

Aly Raisman was crying before the selection committee even left the arena to make the final decision on who would make the team. This shows how much pressure the women are under to perform, and how much it means to them to be able to represent their country on the highest stage of our sport. The reigning Olympic Champion on Floor was, in my opinion a “lock” for this team. Her experience, leadership, and calm in-compeition demeanour are invaluable to Team USA. She will bring in a big score on Floor and Beam, as well as competing an Amanar on Vault.

Mykayla Skinner, Ragan Smith, and Ashton Locklear are the replacement athletes.

I believe that this is the right team, of course it would be better if there were more than just 5 spots, but there isn’t. This is the strongest team in 3 up 3 count format, some would argue that Locklear can contribute more than Douglas on Bars, which is true, however what would happen if one of the other girls kicked their toe and wasn’t able to compete on Vault or Floor? National team coordinator, Martha Karolyi isn’t willing to take that chance. She has taken the most well-rounded team possible. The replacement athletes are more than capable of stepping in at any time and contributing to Team USA as well as anyone.

What do you think about this US team? Who would you choose? Let me know in the comment section!

Watch the team announcement here. 

Italy Names WAG Olympic Team

Following the Italian National Championships, the Olympic Team has been named.

Team Italy

Fasana, Meneghini, Ferlito and Rizzelli celebrate at their National Championships

WAG

Erika Fasana

Carlotta Ferlito

Martina Rizzelli

Vanessa Ferrari

Elisa Meneghini

Fasana, Ferlito and Ferrari are names we are used to seeing on the Italian Team. They were all a part of the 2012 Olympic Team, and are headed to Rio.

Fasana is great on the Floor Exercise, as well as Vault, where she performs a double twisting Yurchenko. She has been battling niggling injuries, however, if healthy she is capable of making the All-Around final.

Ferrari is the veteran of the team. Back in 2006 she won the AA title at World Championships! Where Ferrari really shines is on Floor.

Ferlito will be useful to the team on all apparatus, as well as Meneghini (known as ‘Mini’.) They are both very good on Beam, Ferlito has made the final at World Championships in the past (2013).

Rizzelli is back from a broken foot to be named to her first Olympic Team. She can perform a yurchenko double twist on Vault, and has upped her bars difficulty while recovering from her foot injury, so team Italy will be looking for her to contribute on this apparatus.

Italy have consistently finished in the top 8 this quad, and are aiming to do the same in Rio.

Well done and congratulations to all of the athletes named to their teams, we wish you all the best!

Written by Mary-Anne Monckton © 2016

Photos belong to original owners.

Cover Photo: NBC Olympics (abcnews.go.com)

Italy photo: Erika Fasana Instagram

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