With the 2016 Rio Olympics just under a month away, the standout athletes are beginning to emerge.
On Sunday, July 10, the Olympic trials determined the five female gymnasts who make up the Rio-bound team and, if the 2012 London Olympics were any indication, they are sure to be the next wave of sporty stars.
The US Olympic gymnatics team is being dubbed as the best the sport has ever seen—one commentator during the Olympic trials broadcast even joked that the US could fill two Olympic-bound teams with all of the talent that competed during the trials.
With all of the newest “Fierce 5” having competed at the 2015 World Championships, showcasing their talents against their future Olympic competition, the US scored more than five points higher than the next closest team. And as Vox reports, “Remember, gymnastics is a sport that is judged by tenths of points. A five-point difference is a massacre.”
With some familiar faces and some newcomers who are about to be everywhere, you’re going to want to remember these names come August.
Scroll down to learn more about the newest “Fierce 5” about to dominate the competition at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Biles is seriously the one to watch. With three world champion titles under her belt and more than a few commentators calling her the greatest female gymnast ever, Biles secured her spot on the US Olympic team well before any of her other team members, thanks to her number-one ranking spot at Sunday’s Olympic trials. The 19-year-old, who works out 32 hours a week, six days a week, and only takes Sundays off, scored a near-perfect on the vault and blew the world away when her 15.700-score floor routine went viral after day one. Safe to say all eyes will be on Biles in Rio.
Douglas already made history at the 2012 London Olympics when she became the first US athlete to win both team and all-around gold medals, and she is making history again as the first Olympic All-Around Champion to make a second Olympic team since 1980—nbd. Although her time at the Olympic trials were filled with nerve-filled mistakes—including two falls off the beam—she secured her spot on the Olympic team thanks to her third-place score on the uneven bars, a typically low-scoring event for the Americans. No doubt, with her nerves aside, Douglas will remind America why we fell in love with her four years ago.
At 22, Raisman is nicknamed the “grandma” of the team, but don’t let that fool you. Like Douglas, Raisman is a veteran of London 2012, where she was Team USA’s most decorated gymnast, earning three medals. She was a top-three finisher among all events at the trials and could very well match, if not beat, her existing record of medals in Rio.
A fresh face on the scene (at just 16!), Hernandez turned heads at the Olympic trials, finishing second to Biles in the all-around, in addition to winning balance beam—an event that resulted in many mistakes from the other competitors. She is also the first Latina gymnast on the US gymnastics team since 2004.
Although this will be her first Olympic appearance, Kocian is by no means a newcomer. She is considered Team USA’s sole event specialist, for her skills on the uneven bars (for which she won gold at the 2015 World Championships), as well as a solid contributor to the other events.
Ready to flip your way to a gold medal? Start small with our beginner’s guide to doing a handstand. Or feeling good about your small jumps? Try this full-body, hardcore workout using just a jump rope.