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Meet the U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Team for Tokyo

Meet the U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Team for Tokyo
Posted at 12:11 PM, Jun 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-28 19:53:25-04

The United States dominates gymnastics on the global stage, and this year’s roster looks like another one to remember. Seasoned Olympians Simone Biles and Sam Mikulak are set to show their respective teams the ropes at the Tokyo Games, while newcomers are very much in the hunt for hardware. Now that the crew is finalized, get to know the U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Team before they hit the mat in Tokyo.

U.S. Women’s Team:

Simone Biles

As the greatest gymnast of all time, Biles is headed to Tokyo for an all but certain gold medal sweep. Biles finished first at the U.S. Gymnastics Trials with a score of 118.098, automatically qualifying for a spot on Team USA. She is the only non-first-time Olympian on the women’s team and is ready to showcase her new and improved skills since competing in Rio. After winning four gold medals and one bronze in 2016, Biles went on to win nine gold medals at world championships, and more recently, a record-breaking seventh national women’s all-around title at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships. Biles is the most decorated American gymnast and has four eponymous skills. Expect the 24-year-old to dominate in the floor, vault, beam, all-around, and team events. 

SEE MORE: Trials: Simone Biles electric in Day 1 floor routine

Sunisa Lee

The 18-year-old Lee is entering her first Olympics as a medal contender on bars, beam, and in the all-around. With a score of 115.832, she came in second at Trials and filled the second guaranteed spot on the team. On night two of trials, Lee excelled where Biles faltered and she ended up with a higher all-around score than Biles, cementing her fate as a must-watch athlete in Tokyo. The world championships veteran started her gymnastics career at 6 years old, and after battling an ankle injury earlier this year and overcoming multiple harrowing situations in her family life, Lee finally made it to the Olympic team.  

Jordan Chiles

After almost quitting the sport in 2018, the 20-year-old Chiles has risen to the top of the women’s gymnastics scene. In 2021, Chiles has hit 24 out of 24 routines at meets, a success story that began after she started training with Simone Biles in Texas. Chiles is the 2021 U.S. vault bronze medalist and 2021 Winter Cup all-around, vault, and floor champion. She is a consistently strong performer on all apparatuses and is most likely to medal on floor, bars, and in the all-around. The UCLA commit is named after basketball icon Michael Jordan and is surely living up to the name as she makes her Olympic debut. 

Grace McCallum

As the youngest member of the U.S. Gymnastics Team, the 18-year-old McCallum was chosen to fill the fourth spot on the team by the selection committee after her fourth-place finish at Trials. Her consistently high-scoring performances on vault and floor will undoubtedly contribute to the overall success of the team in Tokyo. She is the 2021 U.S. balance beam bronze medalist and a 2019 World team champion. The four-time U.S. National Team member graduated high school in her home state of Minnesota and will continue her gymnastics career at the University of Utah. 

Women’s Individual Competitors:

The women’s team is sending two individual competitors to Tokyo, one selected at Trials and one who qualified independently. They are eligible to compete in all events, excluding the team event. Individual competitors are often known for specializing in a particular apparatus. This year’s contenders, however, are strong on all fronts, giving the U.S. extra chances to increase its medal count in Tokyo. 

MyKayla Skinner

Skinner’s long journey to the Olympic stage left her teary-eyed as she excitedly accepted her position as an individual competitor at the Olympic Trials. After being named an alternate for the Rio Olympics, Skinner went on to compete for the University of Utah, only to return to the elite scene for a second shot at the Olympic Team. At 24 years old, Skinner was the oldest competitor at the Olympic Trials, where she came in fifth place in the all-around with a score of 112.264. Skinner was the 2021 U.S. vault silver medalist and would be most likely to medal on that apparatus in Tokyo. 

SEE MORE: Trials: MyKayla Skinner emotional after clutch final vault

Jade Carey 

Carey claimed her spot as an individual competitor back in April 2020 based off her performances on floor and vault in the International Gymnastics Federation’s Apparatus World Cup Series. The 2019 World Championships silver medalist on vault has plans to introduce a new skill on the floor in Tokyo: a triple-twisting double layout. Carey most recently finished sixth in the all-around at the U.S. Championships before heading to the Olympic Trials. The 21-year-old grew up in a gymnast family — her parents owned a gym in her hometown of Phoenix and her sister, Taeva, also competes. As a student at Oregon State University, she studies sports medicine and math.

U.S. Men’s Team:

Brody Malone

First-time Olympian Brody Malone is a strong gold medal contender after coming in first at the U.S. Olympic Trials with a score of 171.600. The 21-year-old recently won the U.S. all-around title and is a two-time NCAA all-around champion. When he’s not crushing the competition on the high bar, Malone can be found studying management science and engineering at Stanford. The Georgia native used to compete in rodeo competitions with his brother before finding his passion in gymnastics. 

Yul Moldauer 

Two-time U.S. all-around silver medalist Yul Moldauer clinched his spot on Team USA after finishing second in the Olympic Trials behind Malone. The 24-year-old is making his Olympic debut with two NCAA all-around titles under his belt and has his eyes set on a long Olympic career. As the 2017 U.S. national champion, he is an athlete to watch in the floor and all-around events. Moldauer has been working towards his Olympic goal since he joined his local Colorado gym at age seven. Moldauer was adopted as a baby from South Korea and has been outspoken about experiencing anti-Asian racism in the U.S. 

SEE MORE: Trials: Yul Moldauer's ‘stratospheric’ 14.800 floor routine

Sam Mikulak

As the only Olympic veteran on the men’s team, the 28-year-old Mikulak is ending his reign in men’s gymnastics after this season. The six-time all-around champion and eight-time NCAA champion finished fourth in Trials with a score of 166.750 after overcoming several injuries during the last year. Mikulak hails from California and graduated from the University of Michigan, where he led the men’s gymnastics team to several NCAA titles. At the 2012 Games, Mikulak had to opt out of five of the six events after spraining his ankle. During his Olympic return in Rio, he placed fifth with the men’s team event and fourth in the high bar final. The high bar, his best apparatus, is where Mikulak has individual medal potential in Tokyo.

Shane Wiskus 

The 22-year-old Wiskus is making his Olympic debut after a third-place finish at the Olympic Trials. He recently graduated from the University of Minnesota, where he competed on the men’s gymnastics team before it was cut in 2020. Wiskus has dreamt of making the Olympic Team since he started the sport in 2002, even having a whiteboard in his childhood bedroom that reads “Days until my dreams come true” with a countdown to the Tokyo Opening Ceremony. The three-time NCAA champion was part of the 2019 World Championship Team and has all-American honors in every apparatus except vault. 

Men’s Individual Competitor:

This year, the men’s team added an extra individual competitor to its roster. The individual competitor was chosen based on their likelihood to medal and will be eligible to compete in all events at the Tokyo Games, excluding the team event.

Alec Yoder 

Yoder is a force to be reckoned with on the pommel horse, the apparatus he won at the Olympic Trials and the event where he is most likely to medal in Tokyo. Yoder’s Olympic debut comes shortly after he won the NCAA pommel horse title in 2019 and placed first in the event at the 2020 and 2021 Winter Cup. The Ohio State University graduate is a member of the U.S. Gymnastics Men’s Senior National Team and was part of the 2018 World Championship Team. His gymnastics journey started with a “mommy and me” class in his hometown of Indianapolis. 

SEE MORE: Trials: Alec Yoder hits stellar pommel horse routine