Rio 2016 venue: Rio Olympic Arena – Olympic Park (Barra Zone)
Competition dates:
  • Rhythmic: Aug. 3-20
  • Artistic: Aug. 6-17
  • Trampoline: Aug. 12-13
Medal events: 18 (14 artistic, 2 rhythmic, 2 trampoline)
Olympic introduction:
  • Artistic: 1896 (Athens, Greece)
  • Rhythmic: 1984 (Los Angeles, California)
  • Trampoline: 2000 (Sydney, Australia)

USA Gymnastics is well positioned in its four Olympic disciplines heading into the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

In 2015, Team USA won the medal count at the FIG World Artistic Gymnastics Championships with 10. The U.S. women have dominated this quad, capitalizing on its success in 2011 and 2012.  Led by Simone Biles, the world’s top gymnast, the U.S. cruised to its third consecutive world team title (2011, 2014-15) in 2015, easily qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Games.

Biles’ historic 2015 season, where she won her third straight world all-around title and increased her world gold medal haul to a record 10, sets her up to make a historic run at the 2016 Olympic Games. In addition to her all-around gold in 2015, Biles won her third consecutive floor exercise world title and second straight World balance beam title. She could have a chance to win five Olympic gold medals in Rio: team, all-around, vault, balance beam and floor exercise. No woman has claimed five gymnastics Olympic gold medals in a single Games, while three women (Larissa Latynina, 1956; Agnes Keleti, 1956; and Vera Caslavska, 1968) have won four. Biles comes off wins in 2016 at the Pacific Rim Championships, the P&G Championships, where she claimed a fourth straight U.S. title, and the U.S. Olympic Team Trials. With an upgraded vault (the Cheng), Biles could become the first U.S. woman to win the vault gold medal at the Olympics.

Joining Biles in Rio will be the reigning Olympic all-around gold medalist Gabby Douglas, who finished second in the world in the all-around in 2015; reigning Olympic floor exercise champion Aly Raisman; reigning World uneven bars champion Madison Kocian; and newcomer Laurie Hernandez.

The U.S. men qualified for the 2016 Olympics with a fifth-place team finish at the 2015 World Championships. Four-time U.S. all-around champion and 2012 Olympian Sam Mikulak leads an experienced team that includes his Olympic teammates Danell Leyva, the reigning Olympic all-around bronze medalist, and Jake Dalton, winner of four world medals. Chris Brooks and Alex Naddour, who were both replacement athletes to the 2012 team, have qualified to their first Games and will help the U.S. men in their quest to return to the team medal podium for the first time since 2008.

In rhythmic gymnastics, Laura Zeng became the first woman since 2003 to qualify the U.S. outright to the Olympic Games with her finish at the 2015 World Championships. The U.S. also qualified for Rio in group rhythmic gymnastics for the first time in history. Zeng has enjoyed great success internationally since her 2014 Youth Olympic all-around bronze medal. At last year’s world championships, she finished eighth in the all-around – the highest finish by an American – and seventh in clubs. This year, Zeng has had a historic international season leading to Rio, culminating with two world cup bronze medals, a first for a U.S. athlete. The group clinched the Olympic berth as the highest finishing team from North, Central and South America at the world championships. The team also won its first group Pan American Games gold medal with a win in the six clubs/two hoops final in 2015. The United States also picked up silver medals in the group all-around – Team USA’s first Pan Am Games group all-around medal since 1995 – and five ribbons.

In trampoline, the U.S. qualified to the 2016 Olympic Games at the 2016 Olympic Test Event in April. 2014 Youth Olympian Nicole Ahsinger is set to represent the U.S. on the women’s side. Meanwhile, Logan Dooley – twice an Olympic team replacement athlete (2008, 2012) – punched his ticket to his first Olympic Games at the age of 28. Dooley is the only U.S. man to advance to the trampoline finals at the world championships (2013) in the past decade.

Athletes To Watch
Women's Artistic
Simone Biles 
A first-time Olympian and three-time world all-around champion, Biles is a heavy favorite to win all-around gold in Rio. Biles, the top female gymnast in the world since 2013, is the first woman to win 10 career world gold medals, as well as four gold medals at consecutive world championships. She clinched an historic third straight world all-around title at the 2015 World Championships in Glasgow, Great Britain. Biles now owns 14 World medals, the most earned by a U.S. gymnast, male or female, and is tied for third in the women’s all-time world medal rankings. She also won her fourth consecutive U.S. all-around title at the 2016 P&G Championships, becoming the first woman to accomplish this feat since Joan Moore Gnat in 1974. Earlier this year, she won the all-around title at the Pacific Rim Championships after leading the women to the team gold.  Biles trains at World Champions Centre in Spring, Texas, where she also lives.

Gabby Douglas
The 2012 Olympic all-around champion, Douglas took approximately two-and-a-half years off after the London Games, where she also helped the USA to the team gold medal. She is the first Olympic-around champion to return to an Olympic Games since Nadia Comaneci in 1980. Her 2016 accomplishments include winning the AT&T American Cup and capturing the City of Jesolo Trophy all-around and team titles. Douglas was a key member of the U.S. women’s team that won the 2015 world team gold medal. She finished second in the all-around at the 2015 World Championships, becoming the first reigning women’s Olympic all-around champion to return to the world championships and win an all-around medal since 1981. Douglas trains at Buckeye Gymnastics in Columbus, Ohio, where she also lives.

Laurie Hernandez 
At age 16, Hernandez is the youngest member of the women’s gymnastics team. A first-year senior elite, Hernandez had a breakout 2016 season, finishing in the top three in the all-around at the P&G Championships and U.S. Olympic Team Trials. She helped the U.S. win team gold at the 2016 Pac Rim Championships and the City of Jesolo Trophy. Hernandez is known for her energetic choreography and dynamic dance elements on the floor exercise. She won the 2015 U.S. junior all-around title and went undefeated in all-around competition during the 2015 season. Hernandez lives in Old Bridge, New Jersey, and trains at MG Elite. 

Madison Kocian 
Kocian made gymnastics history when she was part of a four-way tie for the 2015 world uneven bars gold medal. She also helped the USA to its third consecutive World team title with her performances at the 2015 World Championships. Kocian is the 2015 U.S. uneven bars champion and 2016 U.S. uneven bars silver medalist. She made her world championships debut in 2014, when the U.S. also won the team title. The Dallas native trains at WOGA, the same gym that produced Olympic all-around champions Carly Patterson and Nastia Liukin.

Aly Raisman 
The most decorated American gymnast at the 2012 Games, Raisman earned her trip to Rio with top-three all-around performances at the 2016 P&G Championships and Olympic Trials. Raisman garnered all-around, balance beam, and floor silver medals at the 2016 P&G Championships, and placed third in the all-around at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials. In 2015, she made her third world championships team and was a key contributor to Team USA’s world team gold medal. As captain of the 2012 U.S. women’s Olympic squad, Raisman helped the U.S. to its first team gold medal since 1996, while also winning the floor exercise gold medal and the balance beam bronze. Raisman, who lives in Needham, Massachusetts, trains at Brestyan’s American Gymnastics.

Men's Artistic
Jake Dalton
A 2012 Olympian, Dalton is set to make his second Olympic appearance in Rio. A four-time U.S. floor exercise (2011-12, 2014, 2016) and vault (2009, 2011-12, 2016) champion, Dalton's international honors include 2014 world team and vault bronze medalist; 2013 world floor exercise silver medalist; 2013 AT&T American Cup champion; and 2011 world team bronze medalist. After missing the 2015 season due to a shoulder injury, Dalton placed third in the all-around at the 2016 P&G Championships and clinched the floor and vault titles. A member of Team Hilton, he has continued to train at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, where he lives with his wife.

Sam Mikulak 
Mikulak returns for his second Olympic Games as a four-time U.S. all-around champion (2013-16). A 2012 Olympian, Mikulak is the first man to win four consecutive U.S. all-around titles since Blaine Wilson in 1996. After winning the all-around and team gold medals at the 2015 Pan American Games, he was injured while training for the 2015 World Championships. As a member of the 2014 World Championships team, Mikulak helped the U.S. men claim the team bronze medal. His 2014 accolades also included winning the AT&T American Cup, capturing his second consecutive NCAA all-around and team titles, and earning the Nissen-Emery Award. Mikulak, a native of Newport Coast, California, is a member of Team Hilton and trains at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Danell Leyva 
The 2012 Olympic all-around bronze medalist, Leyva won the horizontal bar silver medal at the 2015 World Championships, his fifth world medal. Leyva’s resume includes 2014 world team bronze and parallel bars silver medalist. He also won the 2011 world parallel bars title. Additionally, Leyva is a four-time U.S. parallel bars (2010-12, 2014) and three-time horizontal bar (2009, 2011-12) champion. At the recent U.S. Olympic Team Trials, Leyva was second on the parallel bars and third on the high bar. Originally a replacement athlete, Leyva was added to the team following an injury to John Orozco. The last time an alternate was added to the men’s team was in 2008, when Raj Bhavsar and Alexander Artemev replaced Paul and Morgan Hamm. Leyva is from Miami and is a member of Team Hilton, training at Universal Gymnastics and coached by his step-father, Yin Alvarez.

Laura Zeng
Zeng is set for her Olympic debut in Rio and continues to climb the world ranks with record-setting performances for Team USA. The reigning national champion won two bronze medals at the Minsk World Cup, the first-ever world cup medals for a U.S. rhythmic gymnast. She placed eighth in the all-around at the 2015 World Championships, Team USA’s best finish in the world all-around, and qualified the U.S. for the 2016 Olympics. Zeng swept the gold medals at the 2015 Pan American Games, only the second woman to do so. She is the 2016 U.S. all-around, hoop, ball and ribbon champion. Zeng made U.S. history when she won the Youth Olympic bronze medal, becoming the first American rhythmic gymnast to medal at an Olympic or world championship-level event. She trains at North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center and lives in Libertyville, Illinois.

The U.S. Rhythmic Group made history by finishing in 13th place in the all-around at the world championships to earn a 2016 Olympic berth for the United States. The USA advanced as the highest ranked group from the Americas and marks the best finish for the U.S. group at a world championships. The U.S. rhythmic group won Team USA’s first group rhythmic gymnastics gold medal at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, where it  won the six clubs/two hoops final. The U.S. group also picked up silver medals in the all-around – the Team USA’s first Pan Am group all-around medal since 1995 – and five ribbons. The group, which trains at North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, features: Kiana Eide (Northbrook, Illinois), Alisa Kano of (Glencoe, Illinois), Natalie McGiffert (Northbrook, Illinois), Monica Rokhman (Northbrook, Illinois) and Kristen Shaldybin (Chicago, Illinois). Jennifer Rokhman (Northbrook, Illinois), twin sister of Monica Rokhman, was named the replacement athlete.

Nicole Ahsinger
First-time Olympian Ahsinger is a two-time U.S. trampoline silver medalist. She was a member of the 2015 World Championships team and won trampoline and synchronized trampoline gold medals at the 2015 European Games Test Event in Baku, Azerbaijan. Ahsinger earned her spot on the U.S. Olympic Team by winning the trampoline silver at the 2016 Elite Challenge and USA Gymnastics Championships. Ahsinger, who also competed at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games, is from Lafayette, Louisiana, and trains at Trampoline and Tumbling Express.

Logan Dooley
Dooley earned his ticket to Rio with solid performances at the Elite Challenge and USA Gymnastics Championships, where he placed first and second respectively. Dooley is a five-time U.S. trampoline silver medalist and seven-time U.S. synchro champion. Dooley was a world trampoline finalist in 2013 and an alternate for both the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games. A member of seven world championship teams, Dooley won the first world cup series synchro title for the U.S. in 2010. Dooley lives in Lake Forest, California, and trains at World Elite Gymnastics.


  • Simone Biles has dominated women’s gymnastics both domestically and on the world stage from 2013-16. In 2016, she became the first U.S. woman to win four consecutive U.S. all-around titles (2013-16) in 42 years. Biles now owns 11 senior national titles, and she’s won every all-around competition she has entered since the 2013 P&G Championships, USA Gymnastics’ national championships, in August 2013. In 2015, she became the first woman in history to win three straight world all-around titles and her 10 career world gold medals are a record for the most world gold medals by a female gymnast. She is the first U.S. gymnast, male or female, to garner 14 career world medals (10 gold, two silver, two bronze) and the first woman to earn four gold medals at consecutive world championships. She was named the United States Olympic Committee’s Olympic Female Athlete of the Year for 2015, following up on her Women’s Sports Foundation Athlete of the Year in 2014.
  • Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas are the first U.S. women to make back-to-back Olympic teams since Amy Chow and Dominique Dawes in 2000. Raisman and Douglas took two years off after their success in London. The Olympic champions returned to competition at the 2015 Jesolo Trophy and helped Team USA win their third straight world team title at the 2015 World Championships in Glasgow, Great Britain. Douglas also captured the world all-around silver medal. Alicia Sacramone and Bridget Sloan are the only other U.S. Olympians to compete in the quad after an Olympic Games and win a world gold medal since Tasha Schwikert in 2003. Vera Caslavska of Czechoslovakia was the last Olympic all-around gold medalist to win back-to-back Olympic all-around titles (1964, 1968), and Nadia Comeneci was the last Olympic all-around champion to compete in back-to-back Olympics.
  • For the men, 2012 Olympians Jake Dalton, Danell Leyva and Sam Mikulak will make their second Olympic appearance in Rio. The trio has collected a plethora of international hardware in the last three years: Dalton – three world medals (floor – silver and team; vault – bronze), Pac Rim team and floor gold, plus the AT&T American Cup title; Leyva, the 2012 Olympic all-around bronze medalist – three world medals (2015 – high bar; 2014 – parallel bars silver, team bronze), and a world cup gold and bronze (high bar); and Mikulak – 2015 Pan Am Games all-around and team gold and floor and parallel bars bronze, 2014 world team bronze medal and AT&T American Cup champion. 2012 Olympian John Orozco was originally named to the team at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, but withdrew after tearing his ACL during the U.S. Olympic Team Training Camp.
  • A replacement athlete in 2008 and 2012, Logan Dooley will make his Olympic debut in Rio. As replacement athletes for the 2012 Olympics, Alex Naddour and Chris Brooks watched the men’s competition from the stands in London. Four years later in Rio, both athletes are set to make their Olympic debut on the competition floor. A world high bar finalist and three-time world team member (2010-11; alternate, 2015), Brooks punched his ticket to Rio with solid performances at the P&G Championships and Olympic Trials. A four-time world team member, Naddour helps Team USA with his world-class pommel horse routine. He is a four-time U.S. pommel horse champion, world pommel horse finalist, 2014 world team bronze medalist, and Pac Rim team and pommel horse champion.
  • The U.S. women’s artistic team continue to impress on the international stage. 2016 team victories include gold medal performances at the City of Jesolo Trophy and Pac Rim Championships. The U.S. women’s team won the medal count at the 2015 World Championships in Glasgow, Great Britain, with its 10 medals. The U.S. women made history by winning back-to-back world team titles, giving the U.S. the top team spot from 2011-2015 between world championships and the Olympic Games. Simone Biles put an exclamation point on her 2015 by clinching her third consecutive world all-around title and also winning the balance beam and floor titles and the bronze on vault. Madison Kocian won gold on the uneven bars in a record-setting four-way tie, and Gabby Douglas was the all-around silver medalist. 2016 Olympian Aly Raisman was also a member of the 2015 world gold-medal-winning team. Hernandez was not age eligible for the 2015 World Championships.
  • The Rio Olympic Games signify the end of an era for the U.S. women’s program. Martha Karolyi, the national team coordinator for the women’s program since 2001, plans to retire at the conclusion of the Games at age 73. Since 2001, the U.S. women have experienced tremendous success under her watch, including 87 world and Olympic medals. Martha and her husband, Bela, helped create the U.S. women’s semi-centralized training program, based at the Karolyi Ranch in Huntsville, Texas. Under Martha’s direction, the U.S. has won three consecutive Olympic all-around titles: Carly Patterson, 2004; Nastia Liukin, 2008; and Gabby Douglas, 2012. Before her role as national team coordinator, Martha and Bela produced numerous world and Olympic champions, including Nadia Comaneci, Mary Lou Retton, Kim Zmeskal, Dominique Moceanu and Kerri Strug.
  • The Rio Olympic Games marks the first time the U.S. has qualified for the Olympics in both individual and group rhythmic gymnastics. The only other time both competed at the Olympics was in 1996, when the Olympics were held in Atlanta and the U.S. received host-country berths. This year, Zeng won Team USA’s first world cup medal in rhythmic gymnastics. She swept the individual rhythmic gymnastics gold medals at the 2015 Pan Am Games and finished eighth in the all-around at the 2015 World Championships, becoming the first American rhythmic gymnast to qualify the United States for the Olympics since 2003. The U.S. rhythmic group, which is also based at the same club as Zeng, won Team USA’s first group rhythmic gymnastics gold medal at the Pan American Games and also took silver in the all-around, Team USA’s first Pan Am group all-around medal since 1995. The team became the first U.S. rhythmic group to qualify outright to an Olympic Games as the top finisher from North, Central and South America at the world championships.