Gymnasts We Watched in the Rio 2016 Olympics


The U.S. women's gymnastics team proved themselves a force to be reckoned with yet again in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games held in Rio de Janeiro after winning gold with a multi-point lead. The members of the 2016 team, known as the "Final Five," included Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, Madison Kocian, Laurie Hernandez, and Ali Raisman. The team's alternates included MyKayla Skinner, Ragan Smith, and Ashton Locklear. Learn more about these fierce competitors.


Gymnastics Rio Gala- Olympics: Day 12
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Simone Biles won the 2013 U.S. national title, then she took home the world all-around title two months later in her first year as a senior. Impressive? Absolutely. Then she did that two more years in a row.

With three straight world all-around titles, three U.S. national titles, 10 world gold medals, and 19 medals in all as of 2017, Biles was simply unstoppable even before the 2016 Olympics. 

This super-talented gymnast has sky-high tumbling on ​the floor—a full-twisting double layout, tucked double-double and double-layout with a half twist, called the Biles—and she performs with a spunk that's fun to watch. She's one of the best vaulters and beam workers, too. The question for Rio was, could anyone challenge Simone?

In a word, no. Not really. Biles crushed the competition in the Women's Individual All-Around and wins Gold in Rio. She became the first U.S. gymnast in history to take home four gold medals with her win in the 2016 floor exercise final.  More »

Gymnastics - Artistic - Olympics: Day 4
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The 2012 Olympic all-around champion jumped back into competition in the spring of 2015, and it's exciting to see Gabby Douglas back at the top. Douglas took second in the all-around behind teammate Simone Biles at the 2015 Worlds—a very impressive showing given that it was her first worlds since 2011. She won the American Cup that March, her biggest all-around win since London.

Gabby's bar routine is considered an especially huge asset to the U.S. team, and she's got a natural talent that doesn't seem to be maxed out yet. Unfortunately, she finished third behind Aly Raisman and Simone Biles on the beam. She finished behind Raisman by less than half a point, but that was enough to keep her from competing in the all-around final, which is limited to two gymnasts per country. 

Be sure to keep up to date on the latest regarding Gabby Douglas' comeback. More »

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Gymnastics - Artistic - Olympics: Day 11
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Aly Raisman is another member of the 2012 Olympic team, who came back to the team in 2016. She was the defending Olympic champion on floor and has impressive new tumbling passes there.

She was named to the 2015 world team, and though she had a disappointing meet in qualifications and didn't make any individual event finals, she was a rock in team finals, helping the U.S. secure its third straight world team title.

Raisman won silver for Team USA in the Women's Individual All-Around at Rio. More »

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Laurie Hernandez

Gymnastics Rio Gala- Olympics: Day 12
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Laurie Hernandez became age-eligible in the 2016 Olympic year, and she was a star in the making. She performed with a poise and grace that belies her young age, and is expressive and entertaining on floor. The 2015 U.S. junior national champion was also the runner-up in 2013.

Gymnastics - Artistic - Olympics: Day 9
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Going into the 2016 Olympic season, Madison Kocian was a bar specialist on two world teams (2014 and 2015) and had shown she could perform solid routines on the other events as well. In 2015, she was part of a four-way tie for uneven bar gold, further cementing her status as one of the world's best on that event.

Though some predicted it would be tough to make the five-member Rio team as a specialist, Kocian ultimately solidified her place in the Final Five for 2016. More »

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Alternate: Ragan Smith

Artistic Gymnastics World Championships - Qualifications
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Ragan Smith is an up-and-coming gymnast who placed third at the 2015 U.S. nationals in the junior division and was age-eligible for Rio. She's coached by 1991 world all-around champ Kim Zmeskal-Burdette and is especially fun to watch on floor.

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Alternate: Ashton Locklear

2016 U.S. Olympic Trials - Women's Gymnastics - Day 2
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Ashton Locklear is a bars specialist. She was on the 2014 world team, where she placed fourth in event finals. She also earned gold at the 2016 Pacific Rim Championships.

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Alternate: MyKayla Skinner

2016 U.S. Olympic Trials - Women's Gymnastics - Day 1
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MyKayla Skinner was sixth all-around at the 2013 US senior nationals, fifth in 2014 and seventh in 2015. Her uber-difficult skills on vault and floor won her a spot as one of three alternates on the 2016 Olympic team. Skinner has completed a double-twisting double layout on floor, and can also do both an Amanar and a Cheng vault.

Skinner also earned a bronze on vault at the 2014 worlds and was the team alternate in 2015.