COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., July 19, 2008 – Paul Hamm of Waukesha, Wis., successfully demonstrated competitive readiness during the preparation camp for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team for men’s gymnastics to confirm his spot on the 2008 squad. Hamm, who broke the fourth metacarpal on his right hand at the Visa Championships, petitioned to the men’s Olympic team because he was unable to compete in the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Gymnastics. He was named to the team on June 21, pending his ability to show that he could be competitive in Beijing.
“Paul showed the Men’s Selection Committee that he will contribute to the team’s efforts in Beijing,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. “He has worked hard to maintain his level of conditioning, and we are pleased with his progress.”
“Paul has been able to participate fully at our nine-day team preparation camp. In addition the Men’s Selection Committee observed Paul perform routines on events critical to team success during the intrasquad meet,” said Dennis McIntyre, senior director of men’s program for USA Gymnastics. “Based on his training and routines, Paul has demonstrated his competitive readiness to our satisfaction. We believe Paul’s contributions to the team will help us in our quest for a spot on the medals podium.”
Hamm, who is a member of Team Chevron, will compete in his third Olympic Games (2000, 2004 and 2008). At the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Hamm became the first U.S. male to win the Olympic all-around gold medal. He also won the silver in the horizontal bar, and, helped the U.S. Men’s Team to the silver medal in the team competition. In 2003, Hamm made history by becoming the first-ever U.S. man to win the world all-around title. The U.S. Men’s Team won the team silver medal, and Hamm was the co-world floor exercise champion. He took time off after Athens to complete his education and returned to competitive gymnastics at the 2007 Visa Championships. In 2008, Hamm won the all-around title at the Tyson American Cup, the Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships presented by Gillette Venus and the 2008 Winter Cup (his first all-around competition since the 2004 Olympic Games). At the 2008 Visa Championships, he was leading after day one but had to withdraw when he broke the fourth metacarpal in his right hand.
Along with Hamm, the members of the 2008 men’s team are: Joseph Hagerty, Rio Rancho, N.M./Team Chevron; Morgan Hamm, Waukesha, Wis./Team Chevron; Jonathan Horton, Houston/Team Chevron; Justin Spring, Burke, Va./Team Chevron; Kevin Tan, Fremont, Calif./Team Chevron. The replacement athletes are: Alexander Artemev, Lakewood, Colo./Team Chevron; Raj Bhavsar, Houston/Team Chevron; and David Durante, Garwood, N.J./Team Chevron. Kevin Mazeika of Houston is the men’s head coach.
Based in Indianapolis, USA Gymnastics is the national governing body for gymnastics in the United States. Its mission is to encourage participation and the pursuit of excellence in the sport. Its disciplines include men’s and women’s artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline and tumbling, and acrobatic gymnastics.