|USA Gymnastics 2013 Class
|By Sally Haase
August 19, 2013
It’s hard to believe that someone who hasn’t graduated high school could
be considered for any Hall of Fame. But when you’re a gymnast and your career is
more often than not ended by the time most of your peers have graduated college
you get entered into your sport’s Hall of Fame at a young age. For the 50th
anniversary of USA Gymnastics the Hall of Fame inducted three championship
teams; the 2007 World artistic women’s team and World tumbling women’s team
and the 2012 women’s Olympic team.
The 2007 teams include Yuliya Hall Brown, Susannah Johnson, Leanne
Seitzinger, and Kaitlin Tortorich for the tumbling team; Ivana Hong, Shawn Johnson,
Nastia Liukin, Sam Peszek, Alicia Sacramone, and Shayla Worley for the artistic
team. All but Hong and Worley were on the favored 2008 Olympic team who hung
on to win the silver medal in the team final. Johnson and Liukin dominated the
individual medals for Team USA with Liukin winning four individual medals including
gold in the all-around, silver on balance beam and uneven bars and bronze on the
floor. Johnson won silver in the all-around, silver on floor and gold on balance beam.
As good as Liukin and Johnson are, their attempt at a second Olympic
team was not to be. Liukin’s ended during the trials and Johnson was forced to
retire from the sport before trials due to a knee injury. In the summer of 2012 USA
team coordinator Marta Karolyi assembled a team of five young women, four of
whom helped the United States win Worlds in 2011 for the 2012 Olympic team. The
result was the second gold medal and the first in 16 years for USA gymnastics. The
2012 team featuring 2012 all-around gold medalist Gabby Douglas, 2011 all-
around world champion Jordyn Wieber, McKayla Maroney, Aly Rasiman, and Kyla
Ross earned their now trademarked nickname the “Fierce Five” with a dominating
performance over the rest of the world’s best. The competition started on a near
perfect note with the vault of specialist Maroney and ended on the floor when the
first tumbling pass of final performer Raisman sealed the victory. The team used
the word normal a lot during the team final, it was their way of telling each other to
just think of it as a practice, don’t try to be great, just do what you know you can do.
For the Fierce Five, normal was golden.
As for the Hall of Fame team’s thoughts about 2016, Douglas, Raisman,
and Wieber all verbally committed on national TV that they will get back in the gyms
for a run at the 2016 Olympic team. Maroney, has been quoted as saying 2016 is
the only thing on her mind as she is one who is looking for redemption on the vault.
Ross has not publically stated if she will go for another Olympic run but her strong
second place showing at the P & G Championships shows she has a world title in