Olympic gymnasts went to college, but plan return to elite competition

No American gymnast has ever competed in the Olympics, then she has competed in NCAA gymnastics and returns to compete in another Olympics. That may change in 2024.

Sony LeeAnd jade curryAnd Jordan Chili’s And Grace McCallumFour of the six members of the Tokyo Olympic team, will compete in their first NCAA tournament next week. Everyone can return to elite-level gymnastics sometime before the Paris 2024 Games.

Lee, the Olympic all-around gold medalist, has for the past eight months reiterated an unspecified desire to return to international competition.

“I don’t think I’ve reached my full potential yet. She recently told her coach at Auburn, Jeff GrappaAccording to ESPN.com.

Curry, the Olympic floor exercise champion, shared on social media Wednesday that she accepted an invitation to the USA Gymnastics team camp after the NCAAs, indicating that she intends to compete in the U.S. Championships in August, “while remaining dedicated to her” Oregon State program.

At home: More on Curry’s return to elite gymnastics

Chiles, who holds a degree at UCLA, said in post-Tokyo interviews that the 2024 Olympic race was a possibility. She went even further last week, saying she’ll try to make a world championship team this fall, according to Olympics.com.

“I keep telling everyone, I’m not done,” said Chiles, according to the report, noting that there was still something to be accomplished after the team took silver in Tokyo.

McCallum, a freshman at Utah State, said Thursday that she has not yet decided whether she will return to elite-level gymnastics, a Utah spokesperson said.

Traditionally, but not always, a stellar gymnast going the college route has meant retirement from the elite.

The NCAA format is different from the Elite. Routines are generally easier—emphasis more on execution than difficulty—and the scoring system is still off 10.0, which international gymnastics ditched after the 2004 Olympics.

But the new name, image, and opportunities for similarity have made NCAA gymnastics more attractive to Olympic medalists and future Olympic hopefuls who may have turned professional and ineligible for college competition.

The only previous time four American gymnasts from one Olympic team had performed in a group was later after the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

All-around Olympic Gold Medalists Carly PattersonAnd Nastia LiukinAnd Gabby Douglas And Simone Biles They all became professionals when they were teenagers. Biles, who committed to UCLA before turning pro in 2015, has not ruled out a third Olympics in 2024, but he hasn’t announced any specific plans for a comeback.

Some of the new American athletes remained amateurs and competed in college, but never returned to the elite. Recently, 2012 gold medalist Killa Ross And 2016 gold medalist Madison Kochianboth of the University of California.

The women also made the transition from the NCAA to their first Olympics. Mohini Bhardwaj She placed 10th in the 1996 Olympic Trials, then transferred to UCLA and returned to the elite to form the 2004 Olympic team. Alicia SacramonAfter missing the 2004 Olympics, he competed with Brown and then joined the 2008 team.

My Kayla Skinner She was a substitute at the 2016 Rio Games, then competed for Utah State for three seasons, returned to the elite and made the Tokyo team at the age of 24, becoming the oldest US Olympic gymnast since 2004.

Before women’s gymnastics became the NCAA Championship in 1982, Linda Mulvihill She competed en masse while at the University of Illinois between her three Olympic appearances in 1964, 1968 and 1972.

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