Current Gymnasts to WatchThe American stars of the sport right now are:
- Jonathan Horton: 2009 and 2010 US national champion, two-time Olympic medalist in 2008 (silver, high bar; bronze, team)
- Danell Leyva: 2011 US national champion and world gold medalist on parallel bars
- John Orozco: 2011 US runner-up at nationals and three-time junior all-around champ at nationals
- Steve Legendre: 2009 world team member and amazing tumbler
Foreign gymnasts to watch:
- Kohei Uchimura (Japan): Three-time all-around world champion
- Philipp Boy (Germany): Two-time world all-around silver medalist
- Fabian Hambuechen (Germany): Five-time world medalist (2006, 2007)
- Zou Kai (China): Three-time Olympic gold medalist in 2008 (team, floor, high bar)
- Marian Dragulescu (Romania): Three-time world champion on vault (2001, 2005, 2006), Three-time World Champion on floor (2001, 2002, 2006)
- Chen Yibing (China): Olympic gold medalist on rings, 2-time world champion on rings
- Diego Hypolito (Brazil): 2-time world champion on floor (2005, 2007)
Current Top Teams
- China: The 2010 and 2011 world champions and the 2008 Olympic champion, China is the team to beat in almost every competition. Though the Chinese have lost all-around superstar Yang Wei, they have a very deep pool of athletes from which to choose. The Chinese team used to be known for crumbling under pressure (at the 2004 Olympics, the heavily-favored team fell to fifth in the team finals,) but in recent years, this hasn't been a problem.
- Japan: The 2004 Olympic champion, Japan was the runner-up in the 2010 and 2011 worlds and the 2008 Olympics. With strong all-arounders like Kohei Uchimura, Japan can usually give China a run for its money if China has a miss. Japanese gymnasts are known for their clean form and technique, and their history of winning Olympic gold – six team titles in all.
- Russia: Second at the 2006 worlds, an injured Russian team had a disappointing 6th place finish at the 2008 Olympics. Russia can be one of the top teams in the world, though (it was fourth at the 2011 worlds), and like Japan, has a history of winning Olympic gold medals dating back to the former Soviet Union in 1956.
- Romania: Third as a team at the 2004 Olympics, the Romanian team placed a dismal seventh at the 2008 Olympics, and eighth at the 2011 worlds. The team shouldn’t be counted out though, and could land on the podium at worlds.
- United States: The US won the silver at both the 2003 World Championships and 2004 Olympic Games, and landed an inspiring team bronze at the 2008 Olympics. Since then, the team has continued to do well, placing fourth at the 2010 worlds and third at the 2011 worlds.
- Germany: Germany won the bronze at the 2010 worlds, but dropped to sixth in 2011. With charismatic leader Fabian Hambuechen and all-around heavyweight Philipp Boy, the Germans could vie for a medal again in London.