SportsTokyo Olympics

Actions

Top moments from U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Trials

Top moments from U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Trials
Posted at 9:31 AM, Jun 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-28 13:59:47-04

In front of about 21,000 fans at The Dome in St. Louis last weekend, a new-look USA Gymnastics selected its next Olympic Team. The women's and men's sides each had four spots for the Tokyo team event up for grabs as well as an individual spot. 

Women's Meet

After an emotional weekend, Simone Biles, Suni Lee, Jordan Chiles and Grace McCallum were named to the group that will compete in the team event in Tokyo, while Jade Carey and MyKayla Skinner will compete as individuals.

Check out the top moments:

Jordan Chiles Overcome With Emotion

Breakout star Jordan Chiles knew well before her final routine that she was on the cusp of her first Olympic berth. Before she even took to the floor for her last of eight performances in St. Louis, she was in tears. She was able to pull herself together for one last stunning outing, breaking down again the moment she finished. The tears were flowing all around as the camera panned to her family, coaches and teammates, including Simone Biles. 

SEE MORE: Trials: Jordan Chiles overcome with emotion after floor

Suni Lee Completes Harrowing Journey to Olympics

Days before the 2019 U.S. Championships, Suni Lee's father fell off a ladder and was paralyzed from the chest down. Lee went on to compete at those national championships, and earlier this month, her father was in the house as she took second at Nationals in St. Louis. Lee also lost her aunt to COVID-19 over the summer, and dealt with a scare herself. But at Trials, she dazzled across every routine and achieved her Olympic dream. She even out-scored Simone Biles in the all-around competition on Day 2 -- Biles' first time being out-scored in a single day of competition since 2013. 

SEE MORE: Trials: Suni Lee headed to Tokyo with No. 2 finish

SEE MORE: Simone Biles, Suni Lee talk journey to making Olympic Team

Despite rare mistakes, Biles dominates

It's not often that we've seen Simone Biles falter -- there's a reason she can confidently wear a rhinestone goat on her leotards. But on Day 2 of Trials, she had a hiccup on the uneven bars -- her least favorite event -- and fell off the balance beam. While she still easily ran away with the top spot in the all-around competition, Biles, undoubtedly a perfectionist, had tears in her eyes after beam. She quickly rebounded to close the meet with her usual electric floor performance, however. 

SEE MORE: Trials: Biles cruises to Olympic berth despite shaky Day 2

MyKayla Skinner's clutch, emotional vault

MyKayla Skinner, the oldest woman in the Trials field, was looking like the frontrunner for the fourth Olympic team spot after having the meet of her life on Day 1. She wasn't quite as good on Day 2, however, and needed a big performance to seal her Olympic dream. She got just that on vault, earning a 15.266. Skinner, a 2016 Olympic alternate who was hospitalized early this year after contracting COVID-19, was moved to tears after her final Trials performance. She was later selected for the second individual spot on the Tokyo team.

SEE MORE: Trials: MyKayla Skinner emotional after clutch final vault

Men's Meet

Brody Malone cruised to his first Olympic all-around berth, and while the other four men who made the team weren't necessarily surprises, there was some exciting back-and-forth in the standings. In the end, Yul Moldauer, Shane Wikus and Sam Mikulak will join Malone in the team event, while pommel horse specialist Alec Yoder will compete as an individual. 

Check out the top moments:

Mikulak makes third Olympic team

It was hard to imagine that the U.S. men might head to Tokyo without Sam Mikulak, but after a slipup on pommel horse at the end of Day 2, it wasn't totally clear if the veteran would make his third Olympic team. It would have also been hard, however, to leave Mikulak home after he hit a clutch high bar routine when he really needed it, dubbing it a "vintage" performance. 

 

SEE MORE: Trials: Sam Mikulak hits ‘vintage’ high bar routine

Brody Malone's high-flying bar routine

Everything Brody Malone touched in St. Louis turned to gold, but his gutsy Day 2 high bar routine was particularly stunning. The budding star scored a 14.800 in an effort that should contend for a medal in Tokyo. 

SEE MORE: Trials: Brody Malone nails spectacular high bar routine

Yul Moldauer's emotional reactions

Outside of Brody Malone's sheer dominance, the story of the men's meet was perhaps Yul Moldauer's relentless ability to execute to near-perfection, sticking every landing before breaking out into chills-inducing celebrations. The former world championships team member was in third after Day 1, but continued to hit routine after routine until passing Shane Wiskus and securing an automatic Olympic berth. 

SEE MORE: Trials: Yul Moldauer finishes second, earns Tokyo spot

Alec Yoder emerges as frontrunner

At the outset of Trials, the U.S. men had a few options for the Olympic specialist spot -- two of which were pommel horse specialists. But when Stephen Nedoroscik fell off the apparatus early in his first attempt, the spot seemingly became Alec Yoder's for the taking. Yoder hit it big in his first routine and never looked back. 

SEE MORE: Trials: Alec Yoder hits stellar pommel horse routine

Tokyo Olympics Learn More