Logan Dooley and Nicole Ahsinger won the right to compete in their first Olympic Games in trampoline when the selection process came to an end at the USA Gymnastics Championships Sunday evening at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island.
The alternate at the past two Olympic Games, Dooley, 28, finally gets to step into the role of competitor. A six-time world championships team member, he placed seventh at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games and had a sixth-place showing at the Rio Olympic test event in April.
His best finish in 15 world cup appearances came at the 2009 world cup event in Ostend, Belgium, where he was the gold medalist in both individual and synchro. Sunday marked his fifth national silver medal (2010-12, 2015-16), to go along with four bronzes (2008-09, 2013-14).
Dooley earned a two-night score of 161.85 in Providence, behind 2012 Olympian Steven Gluckstein’s 163.44. Combined with the three bonus points Dooley earned at a competition earlier in the year as part of USA Gymnastics’ Olympic selection points, he won the Olympic spot with a total of 164.85.
Ahsinger, 18, made her international debut in 2013 at the World Age Group competition in Sofia, Bulgaria. The following year she won the Junior Pan American Championships and competed at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games, where she finished fifth.
After winning her first competition on European soil in both individual and synchro trampoline, the 2015 European Games test event in Baku, Azerbaijan, she finished fourth in synchro at a world cup event in France. Marking her first year as a senior competitor, Ahsinger qualified for the world championships in Denmark later that year.
Since her debut at the junior level in 2012, she progressed steadily on the national level, going from a sixth-place finish at the 2012 Elite Challenge to a silver medal in 2013, then gold in 2014. She took silver in her first national championship at the senior level in 2015 and matched that result this year, earning a two-night score of 147.53 behind Shaylee Dunavin’s 148.16.
The two Olympic selection points Ahsinger had earned earlier this year helped her best Dunavin, who had one point previously, for the spot in Rio.
Ahsinger is the seventh U.S. Youth Olympic athlete to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, marking Team USA’s largest contingent of Youth Olympians at an Olympic Games. Four members of the 2010 U.S. Youth Olympic Team competed at the London 2012 Olympic Games, while five members of the 2012 U.S. Youth Olympic Team qualified for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
Also qualifying on Sunday was rhythmic gymnast Laura Zeng, who earned bronze in Nanjing two years ago. Athletes who previously qualified for Rio include 2010 Youth Olympians Katharine Holmes (fencing), Alex Massialas (fencing) and Nathan Schrimsher (modern pentathlon), and 2014 Youth Olympians Shakur Stevenson (boxing) and Lily Zhang (table tennis).