Every member of the U.S. Olympic men’s gymnastics team for Rio was at the London Games.
Sam Mikulak, Jacob Dalton and John Orozco competed at the 2012 Games; Chris Brooks and Alex Naddour watched as unused alternates.
Together in Brazil, they will be tasked with putting the U.S. back on the Olympic team final podium.
That won’t be easy, considering the U.S. was a disappointing fifth at both the London Games and at the 2015 World Championships.
China and Japan are the world powers in men’s gymnastics. The U.S. is at best in the next tier with Great Britain (which actually outscored China at 2015 Worlds) and Russia.
However, the U.S. team at the 2015 Worlds was without then-injured Mikulak, Dalton and Orozco. Brooks and Naddour have stepped up since just missing the 2012 team.
Here’s a look at the five-man U.S. Olympic team and each gymnast’s credentials:
2013/2014 World Championships team member
Four-time U.S. all-around champion
Mikulak won every national-level all-around title this Olympic cycle, but his best world championships all-around finish was sixth in 2013. He has zero individual Olympic or world medals. He missed the 2015 Worlds due to a partial left Achilles tear, but bounced back by sweeping the P&G Championships and Olympic Trials in dominating fashion in June. He’ll be counted on a majority of the events in the Rio team competition.
2011/2013/2014 Worlds Championships team member
2012 U.S. all-around champion
Orozco came back from a tragic 2015, the death of his mother that February and tearing his right Achilles for the second time that June. A doctor told him he would be out one year, but Orozco cut that timetable in half. His best events are parallel bars and high bar, but it looks like he’ll be needed on pommel horse. That event was his Waterloo at the London Games.
2011/2013/2014 World Championships team member
Two-time individual world medalist (floor silver, vault bronze)
Dalton sat out the 2015 P&G Championships due to a small shoulder labrum tear that required surgery and kept him off the world championships team. Dalton is a strong contributor on floor exercise, where he made the eight-man Olympic final and his last three worlds finals, and on vault and still rings.
2010/2015 World Championships team member
Brooks makes his Olympic debut at age 29. He only made the 2015 World Championship team as Mikulak’s replacement. He was second to Mikulak in the all-around at the P&G Championships and Olympic Trials this month, topping the high bar and parallel bars standings. He may also be valuable on vault.
2011/2013/2014/2015 World Championships team member
Naddour, who got a London 2012 tattoo to motivate him for Rio, made the eight-man pommel horse final at the last two world championships. His strength on that apparatus, historically the U.S.’ weakest event, will be an asset in Rio. He will likely also be needed on still rings and floor exercise.Follow @nzaccardi