Simone Biles is a lock for the U.S. Olympic team but who else will join her?

Simone Biles is poised to make her third Olympic team this weekend at the U.S. Olympic team trials in Minneapolis. The event is more of a formality for the GOAT, but who are the other gymnasts eyeing the 2024 Paris Games?

With the men’s team set to be named Saturday and the women’s team Sunday, here’s everything to know about the Olympic trials and Team USA’s rising gymnastics stars.

How is the Olympic gymnastics team selected?

The top all-around finisher after two days of competition at the trials will receive an automatic spot on the five-member women’s Olympic team. The other four women competing in Paris will be determined by a selection committee, which will utilize the results from trials and previous competitions to complete the team.

Four Olympic alternates will also be named in Minneapolis, two of whom will travel to Paris to train with the team.

Assembling the U.S. team revolves primarily around the Team Final competition, where the team gold medal is awarded. Three gymnasts compete on each apparatus and all three scores count.

Selecting the gymnasts who can maximize Team USA’s score in the three-up-three-count format is often compared to assembling a puzzle. Picking the team is not always as simple as selecting the top five ranked gymnasts in the all-around at trials.

If the top five finishers in the all-around are all high-scorers on vault and floor, for example, but weak on uneven bars and beam, taking the top five gymnasts to Paris would leave Team USA vulnerable on those events. In order to maximize the team score, the selection committee could potentially select an athlete who may have finished lower down in the all-around, but is the nation’s highest scorer on bars and beam.

On the men’s side, the five-member team competes on six apparatuses. The automatic spot is harder to clinch, requiring a gymnast to finish first in the all-around and top three on at least three events. No male gymnast accomplished this feat at the Championships in Fort Worth.

Who is in contention for the Olympic team?

There are 20 men and 16 women who will vie for Olympic berths this weekend. Top contenders on the men’s side include national all-around champion Brody Malone, world all-around bronze medalist Fred Richard, Khoi Young, Yul Moldauer, Asher Hong, Donnell Whittenburg, Shane Wiskus and Shane Wiskus.

The U.S. men are in the hunt for their first Olympic medal since 2008 after winning a silver at last year’s world championships.

While there are 16 female gymnasts competing at trials, only about 12 are currently in the conversation to make the Paris Olympic team.

The frontrunners

Simone Biles

Barring serious injury or other unforeseen calamities, Biles is going to Paris. She is the reigning world all-around champion and a 37-time world and Olympic medalist. Her scoring potential is the highest of any gymnast in the world and she is the favorite to win Olympic gold medals in the all-around, vault and floor events. For Biles, the trials are more about mental preparation, so she can simulate the pressure of an Olympic crowd ahead of Paris.

Shilese Jones

Ahead of the U.S. Championships a few weeks ago, many would have called this six-time world medalist a lock for the Paris team. However, Jones’ status is a bit of a question mark heading into the trials after she withdrew from Championships nursing a shoulder injury. At the Classic in May, she solidified herself as the nation’s strongest all-around gymnast behind Biles, finishing second in the all-around and winning the uneven bars. If she performs anywhere close to that level in Minneapolis, Jones is very likely to make her first Olympic team after falling short in 2021.

Skye Blakely

This 19-year-old Dallas native is eyeing her first Olympic team amidst a sea of veterans. She was a member of the gold medal-winning teams at the 2022 and 2023 world championships and recently finished second in the all-around behind Biles at the U.S. Championships.

Unfortunately, Blakely may have sustained an injury in Wednesday’s podium training. She was carried off of the competition floor and wheeled out of the arena by medical staff. Her status is yet to be confirmed by USA Gymnastics. If she is healthy, she is likely to be in Paris.

Suni Lee

Reigning Olympic all-around champion Lee is not quite as strong on all four apparatuses as she was in Tokyo after battling a kidney illness for the past year. However, her Paris prospects are still promising due to her medal potential on the balance beam and the uneven bars.

On both days of the U.S. Championships, Lee delivered spectacular routines on the beam, cementing her potential as an asset that the USA would certainly use on that event in the Team Final. Lee will hope to increase her all-around score to prove that she can be relied upon on all four events in a pinch, but her bars and beam could be enough for the selection committee to take her.

Major contenders

Jordan Chiles

Chiles achieved her Olympic dreams in 2021 when she won a silver medal in the team event at the Tokyo Games. Like some of the other gymnasts in this category, Chiles is a very balanced all-around competitor, but lacks a standout event. She is unlikely to medal individually at the Olympics if she were to make the team, but she can prove at trials that she can be relied upon to cover any apparatus in the team competition.

If Biles, Jones, Blakely and Lee make the team, Chiles could secure the fifth spot on the team with a strong score on the floor exercise and a high finish in the all-around across the two days of competition.

Jade Carey

The reigning Olympic champion on floor, Carey at top-form would be the ideal fifth member of this team in many ways. She is obviously strong on the floor exercise and has potential for a vault medal as well. Unfortunately, Blakely’s vault upgrades have made Carey’s vaulting potential less valuable to Team USA. However, Carey is a master at peaking at the right time and debuted upgrades when it counts. She is absolutely still in the hunt for her second Olympic team.

Kayla DiCello

After being named an alternate for the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, DiCello is back for another shot at her Olympic dream. She took the year off from competing in NCAA gymnastics for the University of Florida to return to her elite club and train for Paris. It appears that that decision has paid off for DiCello, whose bronze medal performance at Championships had “Olympian” written all over it. She sometimes struggles with consistency, but if she hits 8/8 routines this weekend, this may be DiCello’s year.

Leanne Wong

After a disappointing performance at Championships, Wong seemed to be on track to repeat as an Olympic alternate. At a training session in Minneapolis on Wednesday, she debuted a Cheng vault, potentially intercepting that narrative. Wong’s boost in difficulty could pay off if she competes it successfully, but last minute upgrades aren’t always worth the risk.

Her gymnastics is stunning to watch and she will hope to return to her consistency earlier in the quad, having won a gold medal in the team event at the last two world championships and an individual all-around silver at the 2021 world championships.

Potential dark horses

Joscelyn Roberson

Roberson trains at World Champions Centre alongside Biles. She had a stellar 2023 and made the world team last fall, though she was injured immediately before the Team Final. She is a “power gymnast” whose best events are floor and vault, but is currently being outpaced by gymnasts with similar strengths.

Kaliya Lincoln

Like Jones, Lincoln is coming back from an injury and had to file a petition to compete at trials. She is here primarily for one event, floor exercise, which also happens to be USA’s weakest at the moment. It is very possible that Lincoln finishes top 3 on the event at trials, but unfortunately is not the strongest all-around gymnast.

Lincoln’s floor would maximize Team USA’s scoring potential in the Team Final, but the selection committee might decide it’s too risky to bring a gymnast who cannot put up useable scores on bars and beam in case another member of the team goes down.

Hezly Rivera

Before Championships, very few people had this first-year senior on their Olympic team. After a surprise sixth place finish there, she has found herself in the conversation for the Paris team. She lacks international experience and her best events are the same as Lee’s, so she will likely be relegated to an alternate position at this point. However, if top contenders struggle with consistency, Rivera could be a wild card pick for the team.

Tiana Sumanasekera

Beam queen and another training mate of the GOAT, Sumanasekera was one of a handful of gymnasts to hit all her routines at Championships. Making the Paris team may be a long shot for her, but she could snag an alternate spot. The future is bright for this 16-year-old, who is expected to hang around until LA 2028 for a shot at a home Olympics.

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