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Just a heads up that the Trials are *this* weekend. They are being aired on NBC on Saturday 6/21 and Sunday 6/22. This is your chance to see the new scoring rules in action if you haven't already (and I promise I'll get back to my write-ups on the other 3 women's events soon). It should be noted that the USA Gymnastics Olympic Teams are not wholly determined by the Olympic Trials. For the women - the top two all-around finishers from the Trials are on the Olympic team. Then some of the other competitors (including, probably, those who placed 3rd - 6th in the all-around and perhaps some event specialists) will be invited to the Final Selection Camp in July in Houston. There the selection committee (Marta Karolyi, Steve Rybacki, and Kim Zmeskal) will evaluate the competitors and choose the remaining 4 team members and 3 alternates. The team will be announced on July 20. For the men - the top 2 all-around competitors will be on the team as long as they also placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd on at least 3 events. Just to put that in perspective: in the recent Visa National Championships the top two finishers were David Sender (yay Stanford!) and Jonathon Horton. Neither one placed in the top 3 on 3 events. [Sender placed 4, 4, 8, 20, 5, and 1. Horton placed 3, 17, 6, 17, 2, and 5.] So neither one would get an automatic spot on the Olympic Team. There are a *lot* of event specialists in men's gymnastics. The rest of the Olympic Team (or, perhaps, all of it) will be chosen by the Selection Committee from among the Olympic Trials competitors or from those who petition to be on the team. The second part is incredibly important this year since Paul Hamm broke a bone in his hand at the National Championships and will not be able to compete at the Olympic Trials. He was in first place by a wide margin before he hurt his hand, so it is highly likely that the selection committee will put him on the team. He'll have to prove his readiness at the Olympic Preparation Camp in Colorado Springs in July. The Athlete Selection Procedures for the men make it sound like the Selection Committee (Yoichi Tomita, Dannis McIntyre, Ron Brant, an athletes representative and a coaches representative) may be announcing the Olympic Team within 24 hours of the end of the Olympic Trials. So, it's simple, right?
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