Monday, June 23, 2008

Olympics: Men's gymnastics team announced

A day late and perhaps a dollar short, but here's the team:

Jonathan Horton earned his spot outright by placing first in the Trials process (40% Nationals and 60% Olympic Trials meet). The selection committee (rightly) named Paul Hamm to the team. He broke his hand at Nats and had to petition for a spot. He should be healthy for the Olympics in plenty of time (he'll prove his health in late July at a training camp). Morgan Hamm was also named to the team, and my gut says this is a good add.

The other three? I THOUGHT the committee would give a spot to Raj Bhavsar (Houston native and 2004 alternate), David Durante (who looks to be a vault/rings guy), and Sasha Artemev (who could cover pommel horse quite well). But no! My casual fanship of this sport over the last couple years (and dedicated fanship from 2000-2004) was apparently not enough for me to make ANY accurate predictions beyond the Hamm twins and Horton.

Joe Hagerty, Justin Spring, and Kevin Tan make up the rest of the team. I've never heard of Hagerty, I've heard Spring's name for a few years and seen a couple of his routines, and Kevin Tan is a guy that is unknown to me beyond seeing his name on quickly-scanned results pages. I was SHOCKED to see this lineup, and I hope that these guys have enough experience (I don't think so) to hack it at the Olympics because there are high hopes for this team. I want to see another team medal. With Sasha, David, and Raj I thought we could get a gold, even. Seeing what those guys are capable of, I had confidence in them. These other three? No idea. I'll be reading up on them in the last month or so until the Olympics. I hope the selection committee is seeing something I'm missing, cause this looks like a great disappointment waiting to happen. Think: 2000.

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