Those who’ve had a hankering for gymnastics ever since watching the Fierce Five take gold in London are in luck: the 2013 season kicks off at the American Cup in Worcester, Mass. this weekend.
And while Fierce Fiver Kyla Ross and London alternate Ebee Price were forced out of the event with injuries, the U.S. will be well represented by up-n-comers Katelyn Ohashi and Simone Biles, both competing in their first senior competition.
“I was ready for it,” Ohashi, who trains under 1988 Olympic champ Valeri Liukin, said. “I feel prepared for this meet and I’m excited to be a senior.”
They’ll flip in the footsteps of gold medalists Aly Raisman, Shawn Johnson, Nastia Liukin, Shannon Miller, and Mary Lou Retton, who all competed at the same international invitational early in their careers.
The two young Americans will face off against London Olympians Vanessa Ferrari of Italy, Asuka Teramoto of Japan, and Victoria Moors of Canada during Saturday’s World Cup event.
U.S. gymnasts Danell Leyva and Jake Dalton headline the men’s competition, along with London all-around silver medalist Marcel Nguyen of Germany, and Kristian Thomas of Great Britain.
Catch the American Cup live on NBC Saturday starting at 1pm est.
Steve Langton, who was described by driver Steven Holcomb as the “best push athlete in the world,” announced his retirement today.
A collegiate sprinter and jumper at Northeastern University, Langton decided to try bobsledding after watching the 2006 Winter Olympics. He filled out an online athlete resume, and, by the 2010 Games, he was an Olympian.
At the Sochi 2014 Games, Langton teamed with Holcomb to win a bronze medal in the two-man race. It was the first Olympic medal in the event by American sled since 1952. He claimed another bronze medal as a member of Holcomb’s four-man “Night Train.”
“In Sochi I competed on the world’s biggest stage, I won two medals for my country and I did so along not only the best teammates but best friends anyone could ever ask for,” Langton told USA Bobsled.
Langton, who has a 62-inch standing box jump and can squat more than 500 pounds, was described by Men’s Health as “the most powerful winter Olympian” in the lead-up to 2014 Games.
“[Langton’s] work ethic and discipline rubbed off on the other athletes and made everyone better,” said USA Bobsled & Skeleton Chief Executive Officer Darrin Steele. “I have no doubt that he’ll find success in the next chapter of his life as well.”
Langton appeared on “The Amazing Race” in 2015 with his girlfriend, Aly Dudek, an Olympic short track speedskater.
None of the push athletes on the current U.S. roster have Olympic experience. Holcomb will compete in the World Cup opener this Saturday with Sam McGuffie, a former University of Michigan football player. The race will be McGuffie’s World Cup debut.