Had it not been for politics and WWII, Helm McKee may well have been on three Olympic Teams (1936, 1940, & 1944).
The Olympic Games of 1936 in Berlin, Germany, marked the first entry of an American women’s gymnastics team into Olympic competition. Helm McKee, one of the top USA women, was not permitted by her coach to try out for the 1936 Olympic team due to personal political conflicts between the AAU and her coach. The Games were not held during the war years, so no team was convened, but an “Honorary U.S. Team” was selected, and Helm was voted worthy of joining the membership of both these never-to-compete Olympic Teams.
Regardless of what must have been great disappointments, Helm McKee continued to train and win in every competition she entered, and she entered just about every competition she could. McKee was considered the best women’s gymnast from 1936 until the beginning of the 1950s.