Chellsie Memmel, a 2008 Olympic silver medalist who retired from gymnastics in 2012, is entered in next week’s U.S. Classic, her first meet in nine years.
Memmel, a 32-year-old mother of two who resumed gymnastics training in 2019, is likely to compete on two of the four apparatuses, balance beam and vault, she said this week.
Memmel, who became a gymnastics judge in retirement (and judged a qualifier for the U.S. Classic in January), detailed her comeback last summer.
“I wanted to try to get back to where I was, try to even get better on some of the things and see how my body responded,” Memmel told NBC Sports this week. “See if I could compete. See if I even could be competitive.
“This whole process has been about joy and loving doing gymnastics, and that’s the only reason I’m still doing it.”
She hoped to return to competition in February, but an ankle injury delayed it to the U.S. Classic, the primary tune-up meet for the national championships in June.
Memmel can petition for a spot at nationals in three weeks even without competing on all four apparatuses at Classic.
“This coming weekend is going to be a huge test,” Memmel said, noting the closest thing she’s had to a competition was doing American Ninja Warrior last summer. “I don’t know how it’s going to go. I hope it’s going to go well.”
Memmel hasn’t publicly said she wants to make another Olympic team, but it would be cool to get a new skill named after her on the balance beam. That would require performing it at an international competition, perhaps a World Cup in the next Olympic cycle.
The Classic field includes every contender for the U.S. Olympic team of six women.
Most notably, Simone Biles, who previously announced that Classic will be her first competition since the October 2019 World Championships. Biles is expected to compete in the all-around at the meet on May 22.
Peacock live streams coverage of the first session at 1 p.m. ET (including Memmel and Laurie Hernandez). NBCSN airs the second session at 7 p.m. (including Biles and Morgan Hurd).
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