On Monday February 29th 2016,the monthly National Team Camp concluded, which sees USA’s best athletes converge upon the Karolyi Ranch in Hunstville, Texas to train, catch up, show their skills to the selection committee and prepare for upcoming competitions. Following the camp the international assignments for March were announced.
Athletes on the National Team and athletes who show promise for the future attend the monthly camps. The camps give the athletes a chance to see for themselves what their competition looks like before they get to big competitions. It also allows the girls to bond, helping the girls to come together and support each other in team competitions at World Championships, Olympic Games and other competitions with a team element.
This camp, the February National Team Camp had four objectives; to finalsie the competitors for the American Cup this weekend in Newark, NJ, to finalise the competitors for this weekends L’International Gymnix in Montreal, Canada, to finalsie the competitor for next weekends Glasgow World Cup in Glasgow, Scotland and to finalise the competitor for the Stuttgart World Cup in two weeks time in Stuttgart, Germany.
At the conclusion of the camp it was announced that the US delegations for these competitions are as follows:
Gabrielle Douglas- Buckeye Gymnastics
Maggie Nichols- Twin City Twisters
Emma Malabuyo- Texas Dreams Gymnastics
Deanne Soza- Arete Gymnastics
Jordan Chiles- Naydenov Gymnastics
Gabby Perea- Legacy Elite Gymnastics
Glasgow World Cup:
MyKayla Skinner- Desert Lights Gymnastics
Stuttgart World Cup:
Amelia Hundley- Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy
The most surprising name on the list was Emma Malabuyo who was selected to represent the US at L’International Gymnix. Originally, Maile O’Keefe of Salcianu Gymnastics had been listed to compete along with the three girls listed above, however, Malabuyo was obviously thought to be a better fit for the team. The US is only sending junior gymnasts to this event, despite there being a senior division. All of the gymnasts heading to Montreal are new to the national team, and are ineligible for Rio as they are too young. Aside from Jordan Chiles, it will be their first international assignment. It will be interesting to see how they handle the pressure and it will give us a glimpse into the future as most of the established juniors from this quadrennium have now become seniors.
Amelia Hundley is also replacing someone in Stuttgart. Nia Dennis of Legacy Elite Gymnastics was originally slated to compete at the World Cup event, however was injured two weeks ago during training when she ruptured her Achilles tendon. Amelia Hundley has been selected to replace her at the event.
This camp also saw 2014 World Team member, Ashton Locklear of Everest Gymnastics added to the National Team, along with the Gymnix competitors, Emma Malabuyo, Gabby Perea and Deanne Soza and Stuttgart competitor, Amelia Hundley.
The March camp later this month will decide the all important assignments of the City of Jesolo Trophy in Jesolo, Italy and the Pacific Rim Championships in Everett, Washington, typically marquee events for the US in the Olympic year which will give an indication as to who the selection committee has their eye on for Rio. Notably, 3 time World Champion, Simone Biles has already been named to the Pacific Rim team.
It was also confirmed this week that the US will send two athletes to the Olympic Test Event in Rio in April, despite qualifying a full team to the Games at last years World Championships. It is likely that two new seniors will be sent to give them some experience on a big stage. Lauren Hernandez, Jazmyn Foberg, Ragan Smith and Norah Flatley are front runners whilst Bailie Key who became a senior last year but was not selected for the World Championships last year is also in the mix as the selection committee may wish to see how she does on a big stage. That announcement will come closer to the event however.
More information regarding the American Cup is available here: https://thecodeofpoints.wordpress.com/2016/02/29/american-cup-2016-preview/
More information regarding L’International Gymnix is available here: https://thecodeofpoints.wordpress.com/2016/02/28/linternational-gymnix-2016-preview/