Before the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, the United States National Gymnastics team faced a more difficult roster decision than usual.
This is because the Olympic gymnastics roster has been signed for the third time in the past four Olympic Games. As a result, only four men and four women were eligible to participate in the team competition at the Summer Games, which will lead to a difficult final before the event.
The US women’s team will face a particularly gruesome layoff process. Two-time Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles has never lost an all-around competition since 2013, so she is the main force of the team. Jordan Chiles, Suni Lee and Jade Carey are also likely to advance.
However, many other contestants will compete for a place in the US gymnastics qualifiers this week. They include Emma Malabuyo, Leanne Wong, Grace McCallum, Skye Blakely, MyKayla Skinner and Kara Eaker. In a normal year, at least one of these women will enter the team, but there are only four available team places, they may be squeezed out-or pushed to another role.
Why did the Olympics decide to reduce the gymnastics roster for the Tokyo Olympics from five to four? Does the organizer plan to continue this practice? The following is about this controversial decision, and how and why it happened.
Why did the Olympic gymnastics team shrink?
The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) approved the reduction of the Olympic gymnastics team roster in May 2015. The president of FIG, Bruno Grandi (Bruno Grandi) had two goals to make changes, each Liz Clarke of The Washington Post.
First of all, Grandi wants to emphasize the all-round performer in gymnastics, because he feels that the sport is “too biased towards experts who are focused on outstanding performance in one field.” Second, Grandi believes that reducing the size of the team will enable smaller countries to compete with larger countries that traditionally have greater depth.
Opponents, including the U.S. women’s national team coordinator Martha Carroy, believe that some of the world’s best gymnasts will not be able to advance due to changes in the rules.
Carroy said: “This will damage the landscape, what gymnasts can provide the world, and will eliminate some of the strongest gymnasts in our country.” NBC Sports“Even when the team is six years old, we have to leave some strong teams. I don’t think I am really happy at all, but the decision will be made, and we will make any decision. This is what we did In the past, even if something didn’t seem very smart or great, once the rules were set for us, we would do it.”
Grandi had a lot of influence in the gymnastics world in 2015, so he was able to drive changes and implement them for the Tokyo Olympics. The decision was passed by 29 votes to 7, with 1 abstention.
Why do some countries add extra Olympic gymnasts?
This is also the work of Grandi. He developed a plan to allow countries to win up to two additional Olympic places for each country through their performance in various world and continental championships.
Grandi did this to refute the claim that due to the size of the roster, the best gymnasts in the world will be allowed to participate in the Olympics.
However, athletes who get these additional places can only participate in individual events and cannot participate in team competitions. They must even wear tights of different colors to show that they are not part of the team activity team.
In addition, the qualifying measures used to determine these additional positions are considered “too confusing” and will be abandoned by the Gymnastics Federation in the future. They are still valid during the Tokyo Olympics, but the sport will revert to a five-man team at the 2024 Paris Olympics.
“It is also important for us to implement a qualification system that everyone can understand for the 2024 Paris Olympics, while being fair to the best athletes,” said Morinari Watanabe, current FINA President. Press release in May 2019.
Therefore, the brainchild of the now retired Grandi will be short-lived.
Olympic gymnastics roster scale
Since the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, Amanda Boden, Amy Zhou, Dominique Dawes, Shannon Miller, Dominique Mossnu, Jesse Phelps and Kelly After Strugger’s “Sevens” won the gold medal, the sport has steadily reduced the number of gymnasts participating in the competition every year. .
In fact, in three of the past four Olympic Games, the size of the gymnastics roster has been declining, and it has almost halved since 1996.
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