I’ll be periodically updating my “London StockWatch” picks between now and the selection of America’s Olympic teams – particularly after major competitions, injuries, comeback debuts, or any other time something happens that seems to affect the statuses of some of the top Olympic contenders.  This is one of those times.


Following the American Cup, and also considering the Men’s Winter Cup, the WOGA classic, the return of Rebecca Bross, the current men’s college season, etc., I’ve updated how I rank the gymnasts I consider to currently be the top 12 contenders for both the men’s and women’s U.S. Olympic teams.


*Please remember, these rankings can easily change week to week.  Also keep in mind some of these spots are still somewhat speculative – such as in the cases of Nastia Liukin, Chellsie Memmel, Alicia Sacramone, and even Paul Hamm.


Current Top 12 Olympic Contenders 


1.    Danell Leyva                    

2.    John Orozco          

3.    Jonathan Horton                       

4.    Jake Dalton           

5.    Glen Ishino

6.    Alex Naddour

7.    Steve Legendre

8.   Chris Brooks

9.   Brandon Wynn

10. David Sender

11. Paul Hamm

12. Paul Ruggeri


Just Outside The Top 12:

CJ Maestas

Sam Mikulak





1.    Jordyn Wieber           

2.    Aly Raisman                       

3.    Gabrielle Douglas           

4.    McKayla Maroney                       

5.    Rebecca Bross                       

6.    Kyla Ross

7.    Nastia Liukin

8.   Shawn Johnson

9.   Chellsie Memmel

10. Sabrina Vega

11. Bridget Sloan

12. Alicia Sacramone


Just Outside The Top 12:

Sarah Finnegan

Mckenzie Wofford

Anna Li

Bridgette Caquatto


A lot can still happen, but the months are flying by already.  On the men’s side, it currently appears to me that the top three spots are all but secured, barring injury of course (Leyva, Orozco, Horton), the 4th spot is highly likely (Dalton), and the 5th spot will likely go to the best pommel horse swinger (Ishino, Naddour, or potentially Paul Hamm).  Legendre and Brooks are both doing fantastic this year and appear to be excellent candidates for at least alternate spots.  Wynn would be next – if he outscores the field by a full point or more on rings during the selection competitions, he could potentially move up on this list.  Sender isn’t quite ready to contend just yet, but appears to be improving fast and could be the biggest dark horse of the entire field.


On the women’s side, the entire dynamics of this selection process just changed after the American Cup, based solely on how good Gabby Douglas looked.  After seeing her incredible, almost effortless Amanar, an improved bar routine, potentially usable routines on beam and floor, and a dramatic overall improvement in confidence, I moved her from a previous ranking of 6th on this list all the way up to 3rd.  I still think McKayla Maroney’s vault is so good that it could bring the team a few extra tenths, and she is potentially usable on floor as well.  She also has the strongest two-vault arsenal in the country and will be America’s best hope for an individual vault medal.  Bross is still a bit of a question mark, but I have her in the 5th spot because her bars is still one of the three best in the U.S., and her floor could potentially be very valuable to this team as well.  Kyla Ross will be right there in the running, and if she adds just a little more difficulty on bars, she could possibly steal the 5th spot from Bross.  As for now, though, she’s a fantastic choice for an alternate because she could easily be used on any of the four events.  Beyond these six, it appears that all of the former Olympians find themselves as underdogs in this whole process, with quite a bit to prove in the coming months.

Spread the love