For the first time since 2000, the U.S. women’s Olympic gymnastic team will be selected at the conclusion of the Olympic trials rather than at a private selection camp following that event, USA Gymnastics announced Wednesday.
The five female gymnasts who will represent the United States at the 2012 Summer Games in London will be named on live television at the end of NBC’s broadcast of the June 28-July1 trials in San Jose.
The decision brings the women’s selection procedure more closely in line with the men’s and raises the stakes of the trials. Women unable to compete at the trials because of injuries will not be considered for the team.
The top finisher in the all-around competition will automatically win an Olympic berth; the other four slots will be chosen by a selection committee, taking into consideration results at the trials, the Visa Championships in early June, another event in May and past performances.
The top five men also will be selected at the conclusion of the trials.
“It has been a while since both the entire men’s and women’s Olympic teams have been selected at the Trials,” USA Gymnastics President Steve Penny said in a release. “This gives our fans the opportunity to celebrate our sport at the highest level and give the athletes a wonderful send-off to London.”
Before the 2004 and 2008 Summer Games, the U.S. women’s Olympic gymnastic team was named after a selection camp at the Texas ranch of Bela and Marta Karolyi, the women’s team coordinator.