For more than eight years, women’s gymnastics has been dominated by one name: Simone Biles, widely considered the greatest gymnast in history. Other than offering another chance to marvel at Biles, the gymnastics trials will be notable for how they will shape the selection of teams that will be competing in an Olympics that limits them to four members apiece. That rule, which already has been revisited for the Paris Games in 2024, puts a particular emphasis on gymnasts’ all-around skills.
When are the U.S. Olympic gymnastics trials?
The Olympic trials for gymnastics will be held June 24-27. The men and the women will compete in every discipline twice. The men open the trials June 24, then compete again June 26. The women will perform June 25 and June 27. Results are determined by the cumulative scores across both days of competition.
Where are the gymnastics trials?
The competition is at the Dome at America’s Center in St. Louis. The Olympic trials were previously set to be held at Enterprise Center, also in St. Louis, but USA Gymnastics announced a venue change in May, citing “current arena capacity limits and other COVID-related challenges.”
What is the schedule of events?
(All times Eastern)
June 24: Men’s Day 1, 6 p.m.
June 25: Women’s Day 1, 7:30 p.m.
June 26: Men’s Day 2, 2:30 p.m.
June 27: Women’s Day 2, 8 p.m.
How can I watch the gymnastics trials?
Both days of the women’s competition will be aired live on NBC. The second day of the men’s competition will begin at 3 p.m. on the Olympic Channel and at 4 p.m. on NBC. Men’s Day 1 will be shown on NBC Sports Network.
How many U.S. gymnasts will compete in Tokyo?
In addition to the four-member teams, countries could secure spots for individual athletes at this summer’s Games. The United States earned Olympic spots for six women and five men. The small team size forces the selection committees to prioritize all-arounders, so the additional gymnasts might be specialists who could medal in certain events. The individual athletes can earn medals in each discipline, but they will not take part in the team competition.
On the women’s side, Jade Carey has mathematically clinched an Olympic berth as an individual through the apparatus World Cup series. Carey is particularly strong on the vault and floor, but she has improved in the other events. If she is selected to the four-member team, the U.S. would forgo her individual spot and could send just five women.
However, Carey recently wrote on Instagram, “I have every intention to accept the individual spot that I worked very hard to earn.” All the other gymnasts must earn their spots through the Olympic trials.
How is the team selected?
The top two finishers in the women’s trials will earn spots on the four-member team. The selection committee will determine the other two members of the team. The committee will consider the results at the trials and the U.S. championships held earlier this month, along with the team’s needs and each gymnast’s difficulty of routines, execution and consistency. The committee will select another gymnast to compete in Tokyo as an individual in addition to Carey.
On the men’s side, the top finisher at the trials will earn an Olympic berth. The runner-up also will receive a spot on the four-member team if he placed in the top three on a minimum of three events. The selection committee will determine the other two team members and the individual who will compete in Tokyo.
Will Simone Biles compete?
Yes. Biles has not yet earned her place on the U.S. team but will be a favorite to clinch an automatic spot with a top finish at the trials.
Who are the athletes to watch?
Simone Biles, the 2016 Olympic all-around champion, has won every all-around competition she has entered since 2013. Biles, 24, has unveiled several new skills since the previous Olympics and will be the favorite to win the all-around title again in Tokyo. At the recent U.S. championships, Biles won her seventh national all-around title by a margin of nearly five points and earned the top scores on vault, beam and floor.
Behind Biles, Sunisa Lee and Jordan Chiles have emerged as serious contenders to earn spots on the four-member team. On the bars, Lee has one of the best routines in the world, and despite a recent ankle injury, she finished second to Biles in the all-around at the national championships. Lee was a member of the U.S. team that won the 2019 world championships, and she earned individual medals on floor and bars.
Chiles, who trains alongside Biles, has had a breakout season this year. The 20-year-old has never been to the world championships, but she has delivered consistent all-around performances all year, finishing in the top three at the Winter Cup in February, the U.S. Classic in May and the U.S. championships. These three gymnasts have started to separate themselves from the field, and if they repeat their solid performances at the trials, a handful of other contenders will have to chase the fourth team spot.
On the men’s side, two-time Olympian Sam Mikulak will be a favorite to make the team for Tokyo, which he says will be his last Olympics. Mikulak, 28, won the bronze medal on the high bar at the 2018 world championships. He entered this year’s U.S. championships with six national all-around titles, but he managed just third after a few mistakes. Mikulak is the only member of the 2016 Olympic team still competing.
Stanford’s Brody Malone, 21, won the all-around title at the U.S. championships, edging runner-up Yul Moldauer by nearly three points. With the performance, Malone cemented himself as a front-runner to make the team for Tokyo. He also won the NCAA all-around title this year. Moldauer earned the national title on the parallel bars and finished second overall. He has been part of the past three world championships teams and won a bronze medal on the floor in 2017.
Will there be fans?
There will be a limited number of fans at the trials. The curtain will divide the field of play in half, with the meet taking place on one side and fans seated only in that area.