will represent the United States in London. and are the alternates.
It is important to note several facts about this team.
Horton is the only returning Olympian from the 2008 team for the United States.
Leyva, Orozco, Horton and Dalton were on the World Championship team last year that won bronze. Alternates Legendre and Naddour were also on the team.
At last year’s Worlds, Orozco placed fifth in the all-around and Leyva placed 24th after a dramatic fall on high bar. They have both greatly improved and could very well win medals in the all-around in London. Dalton was a last minute substitution into the floor apparatus final and placed eighth. Horton placed seventh on rings. Orozco placed eighth on high bar. Leyva made an amazing comeback to win gold on parallel bars. None of the men qualified to the pommel horse or vault final.
The U.S men won team bronze in 2008 and they look even stronger going into London.
If the United States has one glaring weakness, it would be pommel horse.
Analyzing the past performances and potential of the five gymnasts, this is what the team lineup will most likely be in London.
Note: Mikulak is recovering from a sprained ankle. These lists are subject to change if Mikulak does not heal in time, re-injures his ankle, etc.
Pommel Horse: Danell Leyva, John Orozco, Jonathan Horton, Sam Mikulak
Rings: Danell Leyva, John Orozco, Jonathan Horton, Jake Dalton
Pommel Horse: Danell Leyva, John Orozco, Sam Mikulak
Rings: John Orozco, Jonathan Horton, Jake Dalton
Based on their performances at Visa Championships and Olympic Trials, this is how the scoring will break down if you count their highest scores.
Pommel Horse: 14.900, 15.000, 14.650
Rings: 15.350, 15.500, 15.000
Vault: 15.900, 16.200, 16.350
The team total would be 281.200. Even though Olympic judges will be harsher with scores, these scores will be only a tenth or two lower on average. Based on last year’s World Championships team final results, this U.S team total beats China who scored 275.161 and Japan with 273.093. This, of course, is based on past performances and can only happen if the U.S men stay consistent on pommel horse.
At the 2004 Athens Olympics, the United States won both the men and women’s all-around for the first time in history. In London, we could very well see history made again with team gold for both the U.S men and women.