Before I get to the main portion of the article, I feel I should answer why I am — with all the mayhem that has been going on with the Rio Games — still excited for the Olympics.
Outside of it showcasing several of my favorite sports, I guess it can be boiled down to what the Olympics — in its purest form — is supposed to represent. One of those ideals was summed up quite eloquently by Dragonfly Jonez in the tweet below.
Now on to the gymnastics…
Below I’ve gathered links covering some of the more intriguing story lines going into the competition.
First, if you need an overview of women’s artistic gymnastics, there isn’t a much better video than this one from the FIG (the sport’s international governing body):
Plus use this great glossary from The Gymternet on terms everyone who watches gymnastics should know. Also, check out the site’s guides to all the events and other competition elements.
A word on the U.S. team selection and why this combination of 5 was expected since the spring, despite last minute drama.
One of the most anticipated moments for U.S. gym fans will be when the prelim lineup is made public. Read this to find out why.
The closest competitor the U.S. women have as a team is China. Here are two really good pieces on its star:
Unfortunately, one team you’ve seen every Olympics since 1968 won’t be there. Here is my write-up on the troubles Romanian gymnastics is facing.
And if you’re up for more drama, read about The Winding Road to Become Trinidad & Tobago’s First Gymnastics Olympian.
Also read about Dipa Karmakar, India’s 1st Olympic gymnast, from the Times of India.
Another set of first-timers are Houry Gebeshian and Armenia. Even more amazing is Houry is a maternity ward physician’s assistant by night and trains herself during the day. She’s going for a new skill on UB that will be named after her if successfully performed.
Finally, there is no reason you shouldn’t know about Oksana Chusovitina, the 41-year-old mother of one who could very well be a vault finalist in Rio in her 7th Olympic appearance. This profile from the Associated Press is a good way to get to know her, if for some reason you haven’t yet.
Gymnastics competition starts Sunday for the women. (P.S. The men start Saturday. Watch them too, as well as Trampoline which starts August 12.) Use this awesome schedule made by All Flipped Out to keep up with all the gymnastics action.