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Projected U.S. Olympic Lineups

Who Will Get a Shot at the All Around

July 7, 2024

Photo: Steve Cooper/GymCastic

Following the conclusion of the 2024 U.S. Gymnastics Olympic Trials, the men's program confirmed the five athletes automatically selected for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games: Asher Hong, Paul Juda, Brody Malone, Stephen Nedoroscik, and Frederick Richard. Brody Malone, who won the national title earlier this year, is the only returning Olympian. While Malone won the national title, it was Richard who was victorious at the Olympic Trials. Barring injury, those two will almost certainly have the opportunity to reach the all-around final.

To make the all-around final, they will need to be the top two all-arounders within the U.S. contingent following qualifying. While many teams only field two all-arounders in qualifying, the U.S. team will almost certainly need to put up three because Stephen Nedoroscik will only compete on one event – pommel horse. Due to the 5-4-3 format (five athletes on a team, four athletes compete in qualifying, best three scores count), that leaves one spot on pommel horse. Of the remaining athletes, Paul Juda is the obvious choice. Juda scored 14.050 and 14.250 respectively at the Olympic Trials, besting all of the Olympic team members except Nedoroscik.

In qualifying, I expect Malone, Richard, and Juda to compete in the all-around, Hong to compete all events except pommel horse, and Nedoroscik to compete pommel horse.

Team final line-up become a little trickier as the format changes. The 5-3-3 format (five athletes on a team, three compete on each event, all three scores count) changes the risk profile. Decisions are made not only on the athlete's potential D score, but also based on athlete's level of health, how they scored in qualifications, and consistency in practice. Here are my predictions for team final lineups.

Team Final Lineup Predictions

It's possible, that the men's leadership will choose Malone over Juda for floor, but otherwise I think this is pretty close to what the line-ups have to be given the team selected. Allowing Juda to do FX means that Malone won't have to do the all-around three times (qualifying, team final, and all-around final). Several athletes have a wide range of D scores that they could compete. For instance, Malone has shown a 6.0 - 6.7 D score on high bar. While I think it's unlikely that he will perform a 6.7 in team finals, I do think it's likely that he would choose that routine for event finals should he make that final. Similarly, Nedoroscik has shown a wide range of D scores on pommel horse this year from 5.8 - 6.5; it's unclear what he will aim to do in team finals and therefore there may be more variation in team D score than predicted here.

Last year, the U.S. men's team won their first team medal since 2014 with a total D of 104.1. The continued increase in D score is promising for their chance to return to the Olympic podium for the first time since 2008. While their D score potential is an overall increase from what they performed last year [Note: Richard's pommel horse set in team final was .9 lower in D than intended], the distribution of D score is concerning. Last year, the U.S. fielded an incredibly deep vault team; this year, less so. Vault is known for being the event with the highest execution scores across the six events and only time will tell if the lack of vault difficulty will hinder the U.S. from their ultimate goal of returing to the podium as a team.

Article by: Kensley Behel


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