2012 Olympic Women's Gymnastics Team: The Fierce Five

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Gabby Douglas

Gabby Douglas
Gabrielle Douglas. © Cammie Backus

Gabby Douglas is exciting to watch -- especially on bars and floor -- where her powerful tumbling and releases are sky-high. At the 2012 Olympics, Douglas won the coveted Olympic all-around title, becoming the third consecutive US Olympic all-around champion, and the first to win it and also be a part of a gold-medal winning team.

After taking some time off after London, Douglas has returned to the gym and is in strong contention for a spot on the 2016 Rio Olympic team as well.

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McKayla Maroney

McKayla Maroney Gymnastics Photo 2012 Olympics
© Ronald Martinez / Getty Images

McKayla Maroney was the 2011 world vault champion and boosted the team's total with her picture-perfect Amanar vault. She was the all-around runner-up to Wieber at 2011 nationals as well, proving that she could excel on the other events too. Maroney was the heavy favorite to win gold on vault in London, but sat down her second vault. Her disappointed look on the medal stand created a huge buzz worldwide when a tumblr page was created, called McKayla is not impressed.

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Aly Raisman

Aly Raisman
Aly Raisman at the 2010 worlds. © Jamie McDonald / Getty Images

Aly Raisman was the US all-around bronze medalist in 2010, 2011, and 2012. Though she's weak on bars, she does some of the hardest tumbling of anyone in the world, and is usually clean on beam and vault too. In London, she earned the floor gold and the beam bronze, and placed fourth in the all-around.

Raisman, along with Douglas, is back competing and is also a potential contender for the 2016 Olympic team.

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Jordyn Wieber

ST PAUL, MN - AUGUST 20: Jordyn Wieber competes on the floor during the Senior Women's competition on day four of the Visa Gymnastics Championships at Xcel Energy Center on August 20, 2011 in St Paul, Minnesota.
Ronald Martinez / Getty Images

Jordyn Wieber was one of the best all-arounders in the world. She won the 2011 world title and the senior national all-around title twice, with top-notch difficulty on all four events. Though she missed out on qualifying to the all-around final at the 2012 Games due to the controversial two-per-country rule, she was a key part of the Fierce Five's gold medal -- competing on vault, bars and floor in team finals, despite a leg injury.

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Kyla Ross

Kyla Ross
Kyla Ross at the 2010 Pan American Championships. © Quinn Rooney / Getty Images

Kyla Ross was the 2009 and 2010 US junior champ, and the silver medalist in 2011. She wasn't age eligible for most senior competitions like the Olympics until 2012, but competed like a veteran at the Games.

The youngest member of the 2012 Olympic team, Ross earned strong scores on both bars and beam in the team final. She won five world medals in 2013 and 2014 before opting to retire from elite competition and head to UCLA to compete NCAA gymnastics.

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Sarah Finnegan -- Alternate/Replacement Athlete

Sarah Finnegan
Sarah Finnegan. © Vilip Dishwanat / Getty Images

Sarah Finnegan was in her first year as a senior competitor in 2012, but had some of the top difficulty scores in the US on both beam and floor, and has a style and presentation that is gorgeous to watch. Finnegan placed second on beam and fourth on floor at the 2012 US nationals, but has been injured for much of 2013.

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Elizabeth Price -- Alternate/Replacement Athlete

Elizabeth Price
© Ronald Martinez / Getty Images
Elizabeth Price was new to the senior scene as well, but competed like a veteran in 2012. She's got a gorgeous Amanar vault that can rival Maroney's on a good day, and she has powerful tumbling (tucked double-double mount, double layout second pass) as well. She's also consistent and clean on bars. Slowed by a hip injury in 2012, Price was named as the alternate to the 2013 world team and is one to watch for Rio 2016.

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Anna Li -- Alternate/Replacement Athlete

Anna Li
Anna Li. © Harry How / Getty Images

Anna Li was an NCAA star at UCLA, before trying elite post-graduation. She had one of the best bar routines in the US, and possibly even the world.

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Alicia Sacramone -- Did Not Qualify

Alicia Sacramone
Alicia Sacramone competes on floor at the 2011 US nationals. © Ronald Martinez / Getty Images
Alicia Sacramone is a 2008 Olympic veteran and the 2010 world vault champion. She suffered a torn Achilles tendon in training before the 2011 worlds, and came back in time to compete at the 2012 nationals and Olympic Trials. She had great performances on both vault and beam -- the two events she was able to do post-injury -- but in the end, it wasn't enough to be selected onto the team. This decision was controversial, however: many thought she should have at least been named an alternate.

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Rebecca Bross -- Did Not Qualify

Rebecca Bross
Rebecca Bross at 2010 worlds. © Jamie McDonald / Getty Images
Rebecca Bross was the runner-up at the 2009 worlds and the bronze medalist in 2010, both times with a fall during the competition. Bross gritted through many injuries during her career, but suffered a big one at the 2011 nationals: She dislocated her knee on vault, and was only able to come back to compete on bars and beam in 2012. Bross didn't seem to be 100 percent at nationals and Olympic Trials -- she struggled on both events at times -- and wasn't picked for the 2012 Olympic team. Bross, now retired, had a very successful career, though, and remains one of the most decorated US gymnasts ever.

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Nastia Liukin -- Did Not Qualify

Nastia Liukin
Nastia Liukin performs on floor at the 2008 Pacific Rim Championships. © Greg Trott / Getty Images

Nastia Liukin, the 2008 Olympic all-around champ, announced in October of 2011 that she'd be making a comeback to try to earn a spot on the 2012 Olympic team. She focused on bars and beam only at the 2012 Olympic Trials and US nationals. She looked solid on beam, but struggled on bars and looked like she just ran out of time to get her full bar routine together. She has now retired from the sport.

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Bridget Sloan -- Injured/Did Not Qualify

Bridget Sloan Gymnastics Photo
Photo © Frank Law
Bridget Sloan was the 2009 world all-around champ, but was injured for most of 2010 and 2011. Her bad luck with injuries continued, and Sloan had to withdraw from the 2012 Olympic Trials with a sprained elbow. Sloan is planning to attend the University of Florida in the fall of 2012, and will compete as an NCAA gymnast.

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Sabrina Vega -- Did Not Qualify

Gymnast Sabrina Vega on floor at the 2009 US nationals
Sabrina Vega doing a piked full-in on floor at the 2009 US nationals. © Lynn Moore

Sabrina Vega is a solid performer on every event, and competes with an artistry that belies her young age. Just 17, she was a key contributor to the US team's gold medal at 2011 worlds. At the 2012 Olympic Trials she had some strong routines, but without a stand-out event or two, and with a low 10th place all-around finish, she wasn't selected for the team. Vega has indicated that she may continue training for 2016.

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Shawn Johnson -- Retired

Gymnast Shawn Johnson prepares for her beam routine at the 2011 US nationals
Shawn Johnson prepares for beam at the 2011 US nationals. © Ronald Martinez / Getty Images

After retiring briefly and winning Dancing with the Stars, 2008 Olympian Shawn Johnson announced a comeback. In August 2011 she competed three events at US nationals, placing highest on beam (fourth). In October, she competed at the Pan Am Games and earned the bars silver. In June of 2012, however, Johnson announced her retirement from the sport, saying she had run out of time to make the 2012 Olympic team.

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Chellsie Memmel -- Did Not Qualify

Gymnast Chellsie Memmel on bars at the 2008 Olympics
Chellsie Memmel on bars at the 2008 Olympics. © Harry How / Getty Images
Chellsie Memmel has had the worst of bad luck: she missed the 2004 Olympics because of a broken foot, then fractured her ankle after making the 2008 Olympic team. She was able to compete bars for the US in 2008, but still, her Olympic experience was far from satisfying. Memmel returned to competition in 2011, and impressed right away. A shoulder injury slowed her comeback, however, and her petition to compete at US nationals was denied, so Memmel was no longer eligible for the Olympic team.

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