Gabby Douglas has said several times that she'd be back. But no Olympic all-around champ has made it to a second Games since Nadia Comaneci in 1980, so Douglas' comeback -- like so many others -- has been met so far with some healthy skepticism.
But it appears she's for real. Or at least real-ish.The AP is reporting that Douglas will be back at US training camp next week, alongside Olympic teammate Kyla Ross and current world champion Simone Biles. (McKayla Maroney, another 2012 Olympian who defended her 2011 world vault title in 2013, isn't mentioned and is most likely skipping camp to heal from a recent surgery.)
It's just a small step, really. But I doubt she'd train in front of national coordinator Martha Karolyi unless she was in some sort of gymnastics shape. I've always thought that if anyone could do an Olympic comeback it would be Douglas, since her talent seemed limitless in London. I don't think she'd peaked at that point.
I guess we'll see what the next few months bring. So far, she hasn't announced any sort of date for her return to competition.
A 2012 Olympic alternate, Elizabeth Price won the American Cup and Pacific Rim Championships earlier this year, as well as the 2013-14 World Cup series. She seemed to be fast-becoming an American star, and even beat 2012 Olympian Kyla Ross in the all-around at Pacific Rims.
So many were surprised to see her announce that she'll attend Stanford this fall and join their gymnastics team, opting to skip this year's worlds, and by default, ending any chance at a 2016 Olympic team berth as well.
Though I don't doubt that she would have been in the hunt for a world all-around medal in October, she'll also be an absolute star in the NCAA. I hope she can help Stanford finally get to the top tier at NCAAs.
There's no doubt that this NCAAs -- held this past weekend in Birmingham, Ala. -- was awesome overall: We had the first tie ever and it was between two well-deserving teams, plus sentimental favorites like Samantha Shapiro earned a spot on the podium in event finals.
But there were disappointments too: For starters, Danusia Francis should have been in beam finals. And we would have loved to see "No Grips Dabritz" on bars and floor. Find out the rest of our top 4 highs and lows from this year's NCAAs.
In honor of ugly leotards everywhere -- and the poor gymnasts forced to wear them -- we present seven of the most terrible leotards we could find.
Related: 10 Gorgeous Gymnastics Photos
In the end, both easily captured the win, though Price's victory was a blowout -- nearly 2.5 points over her US teammate Brenna Dowell.
1. Sam Mikulak, Corona del Mar, Calif., 90.098
2. Shogo Nonomura, Japan, 88.965
3. Daniel Purvis, Great Britain, 88.899
4. Fabian Hambuechen, Germany, 88.431
5. John Orozco, Bronx, N.Y., 88.065
6. Andrey Likhovitskiy, Belarus, 86.830
7. Fabian Gonzalez, Spain, 85.931
8. Sergio Sasaki Junior, Brazil, 82.831
9. Sam Oldham, Great Britain, 82.666
1. Elizabeth Price, Coopersburg, Pa., 59.966
2. Brenna Dowell, Odessa, Mo., 57.532
3. Giulia Steingruber, Switzerland, 57.332
4. Victoria Moors, Canada, 56.898
5. Vanessa Ferrari, Italy, 56.766
6. Roxana Popa Nedelcu, Spain, 54.865
7. Sophie Scheder, Germany, 54.331
8. Carlotta Ferlito, Italy, 53.632
Simone Biles, the 2013 world all-around champ, has withdrawn from the American Cup. The press release from USA Gymnastics says, "Biles, who has been nursing a shoulder injury, aggravated that shoulder during the pre-competition training camp at the USA Gymnastics National Team Training Center at the Karolyi Ranch, a US Olympic training site. She is expected to get an MRI in the near future."
No further word on the injury, but hopefully it's not a big one. Larisa Iordache and Kyla Ross also previously withdrew from the American Cup, which will be held on Mar. 1 in Greensboro, N.C. Brenna Dowell, a member of the 2013 world team, will replace Biles.
The meet will be aired live on NBC from 1-3pm ET, and streamed live on the USA gymnastics website from 11:30am-1pm ET. USA Gymnastics will also be streaming podium training on Thursday -- 10:30am-12:30pm ET for the women and 1:30-3:30pm ET for the men. (Get the full American Cup roster here.)
Quick -- if you had to pick just one female gymnast as your favorite, who would it be? Maybe it's Dominique Dawes because her back-to-back floor tumbling was unreal. Or it's Nastia Liukin because she rocked it in the most important competition of her career. Or McKayla Maroney because she can vault better than the men, or Shannon Miller for her consistency, year after year.
Whoever it is, and whatever the reason, vote below. And if it's someone not on the list, tell us who and why in the comments.
The American Cup field has been determined, and includes 2013 world all-around champ Simone Biles, 2012 Olympians Sam Mikulak and John Orozco, and World Cup champ Elizabeth Price. (Kyla Ross was originally named as the second US gymnast, but, per a USA Gymnastics press release, has withdrawn due to a slight back injury.)
The international field is highlighted with 2012 Olympians Larisa Iordache and Victoria Moors, as well as veteran Fabian Hambuechen.
Belarus - Andrey Likhovitskiy
Brazil - Sergio Sasaki Junior
Germany - Fabian Hambuechen
Great Britain - Sam Oldham
Great Britain - Daniel Purvis
Japan - Shogo Nonomura
Spain - Fabian Gonzalez
USA - Sam Mikulak
USA - John Orozco
Canada - Victoria Moors
Germany - Sophie Scheder
Italy - Carlotta Ferlito
Italy - Vanessa Ferrari
Romania - Larisa Andrea Iordache
Spain - Roxana Popa Nedelcu
Switzerland - Giulia Steingruber
USA - Simone Biles
USA - Elizabeth Price
The American Cup will be held in Greensboro, N.C. on Mar. 1, and will be aired live on NBC from 1-3pm ET, and streamed live on the USA gymnastics website from 11:30am-1pm ET.
Check out these interesting shots from Getty's Hulton Archive -- of past gymnastics legends like Nadia Comaneci, Ludmilla Tourischeva, Yukio Endo, and Olga Korbut. You'll also see the "vaulting box" and one of the strangest stretches ever.
But there's lots you can do, both before and during a competition, so that any pressure you feel doesn't get in the way of doing your best.