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How Small Can the Olympic Gymnastics Team Get?

Allie Steward, Photojournalist

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Every four years people anticipate the Olympic Games. They prepare to see their favorite sports air on television and some even fly to the select country to watch the events live. There are tons of Olympic sports, however the majority of people stick to watching three or four events and skipping the ones that don’t interest them. According to Statista, a survey was done revealing that gymnastics was the second most popular Olympic event to watch.

Coming up in the summer of 2020 will be the Olympic Games in Tokyo . We are just now starting to get a feel for who will be attempting to compete in the games. In the past, critics have begun taking guesses as to who will take a spot on the team. In 2012 the team was nicknamed the Fierce Five, 2016 they were the Final Five, and now we anticipate the Future Four.

This change was proposed to make the team competitions more fair for some countries. Depending on the country, some may have more than four qualified gymnasts, others may have less than four. By lowering the number of participants we are giving lesser countries a stronger chance. Another reason the alteration was made was so that judges could pull scores from several different meets instead of just a few championships. Not all gymnasts go to every competition. To pull scores from say ten different competitions for five or more gymnasts can get extremely difficult.

On the other hand, many retired gymnasts feel that this change is detrimental. Martha Karolyi, an Olympic gymnastics coach, says that the US already has to leave behind many talented competitors, this is just cutting off one more that could be a strong asset to our team. Gymnasts may make it to the Olympics, be placed on the team, but only be qualified to compete on one or two events. In the past there have been cases where one girl on the team only competes on one event. Lowering the number of girls on the team makes it much more competitive and puts more pressure on the girls that have only qualified to compete on one event (flogymnastics).

In this Olympic gymnastics, up to six girls will make it to individuals, however on four will compete in the team category. It will certainly be interesting to what lucky, talented individuals make it to the biggest competition in the world. Especially being that there are only four members competing. Stay tuned for the US Women’s Gymnastics team in 2020, as they compete for another gold medal.

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How Small Can the Olympic Gymnastics Team Get?